Freedom to Create

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 

An amazing thing happened recently. I actually got feedback from an agent that I queried concerning The River Keeper. Usually I get a short little form email that says, “Thank you for your query concerning The River Keeper, unfortunately I do not believe I am the right agent for the work you describe.” Or, they might say, “Thank you for your query, but we don’t think it’s the right fit for us.”

 

Trust me, over the past six years I’ve received enough rejections to have heard all their lines. This recent rejection started out the same way, “Thank you for your query, but…” The Jr. Agent from this agency went on to tell me she was confused because I didn’t start the book with the lead character and also because the work was told in first person point of view. She went on to say she assumed the man, Earl Hackney that is the first voice in the book is Callie’s daddy, well obviously she didn’t read the one-page synopsis that she requested along with the first five pages. If she had she would have known who Earl Hackney was. The Jr. agent went on to say, “Remember that this is only one opinion and your work may be just what another agent is looking for.”

 

The word “create” comes to mind concerning my latest novel. Serial narrators tell The River Keeper, which means each chapter is not headed by a number, but by the name of the character that is speaking in that particular section. The prominent character in each part also speaks in first person. Writing in first person is not the norm, and I realize I have taken a risk by doing this, but darn it… this is my creation and I can write it any way I feel like. When I read a story written in first person I feel like I’m in that person’s shoes, almost like I have an intimate relationship with them. God was lucky when He created the world and everything in it. He didn’t have a bunch of people around voicing their opinions and giving out instructions. Just Him, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were there working out the details. Obviously they all three get along very well, because this world turned out to be a pretty awesome place.

 

Other writers, who may be just a bit more famous than I am, have steered away from the typical third person narrative. Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield in first person; also Dean Koontz and Agatha Christie have written some of their work in first person. Anne Sewell even wrote Black Beauty in the horse’s first person point of view. It’s called creating, which means, to bring into existence your own creation out of nothing.

 

I don’t want to copy someone. If I do then I’m not creating, I’m simply mimicking someone else’s work. I want to be known as the writer who surprises her reader. I’ve written four novels so far and they are all very different. I don’t want to be labeled. I want to be able to pen anything I desire, whether it is young adult fiction, mysteries, children’s stories, or sappy love stories. Yes, I have been, and will always be a little different. I like myself that way.

 

I realize agents and publishers don’t have time to read a hundred pages of every query they receive, but honestly, can a person tell if a book is going to be good or bad by reading only five pages? I think the old saying: You can’t judge a book by its cover applies here. You can’t judge a book by a few sentences either.

 

Oh well, everyone has an opinion, and that’s okay. I am thankful to live in a country where we have the freedom to create and voice our thoughts and views. I know we’re all remembering those lives that were prematurely snatched away twelve years ago on September 11th, 2001. Sometimes justice does not prevail, but Old Glory still waves. Feeling sad, yet blessedrsz_flag today.

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