Friday, October 29, 2010

Author's String Theory

   Einstein as Publisher?  Satyendra Nath Bose as Agent? Branes as Brains? Black Holes as Slush Piles (couldn't resist the comparative)

   Alternate dimensions are to Genre as Vibrational modes are to Literary trends... If this question ever appears on an SAT test, the fall of civilization can't be far behind.

   The first view of the publishing world, for me, inspired questions on the nature of the written word as commerce. The farther I researched the business, it became apparent that it exists in numerous layers. Far from labyrinthine, but don't doubt the number of paths available. Many leading to no where, some to a new light of day.

  Authors posit their work as being plausible. After all, if written, it is. (Descartes was a closet romantic comedy writer.) Therefore it has the potential to be noticed, liked and published. The problems that arise are surmountable... If created by man, they can be overcome by man, no? Not always.

  The intangibles, the quirks of agents, editors and the vacillations of the marketplace can conspire to make an author's dreams either disappear or to be acknowledged.

  I like the string theory, not for the scientific meaning. Dimensional aspects could be applied, genres the line of realities split. But that's too deep for me, so I'll just take the string and make it into a theoretical high wire act. The theory part being that gravity works, whether you call it falling or failing.

  Authors live on a high wire once their works have been polished. Submitting a manuscript is the first step out onto the wire...Easy! Next step, query an agent or two or seventy. The silence around the author, breathlessly anticipating the Inbox bringing hope, not Viagra spam. Pressure mounts as each step is taken, rejection breaks your concentration, as well as the will to live. Don't look down, next step, another, then another. You're now in the middle of the wire walk now... and you freeze, right there.

  This is where you wait. Unseen eyes of speculation in the darkness far below, while the wire twitches beneath your feet. By the way, there is no net... Unless you make one... with your mind. The net is your next book. Write, and the net will rise to meet you. Now step out again and finish the walk you began. Get to the other side with the knowledge that you can begin and begin. Every word you write makes you better at your craft, more confident when you take that next walk across the wire.

  An author's string theory can move us, giving the observed words flavor, energy, and life. As long as you are willing to make the walk...