Thursday, December 13, 2007

Storyteller

I've realized in recent years that, contrary to my long-held beliefs, I can be a pretty good storyteller. Still, I thought an even bigger hindrance was not having any decent "material" from my own life to drawn on.

I look at some of the writers I admire -- people like Sedaris and Dave Eggars -- and think, it must help a lot when you're surrounded all your life by colorful characters and go through bizarre experiences. By comparison, I've led a pretty ordinary, whitebread, vanilla kind of life. But good stories are everywhere, waiting to be found and brought out with a little creativity and a lot of hard work.

That's what this experience with the The Callback has taught me. I actually do have some decent stories to tell. And more than one.

So I've decided I'm going to put together a book. Whether or not it has a prayer of being published doesn't matter. But I am going to take a step I've thought about for years but never taken. I'm going to seek out representation.

The reason I didn't do it before was because the kind of writing I've been doing isn't very marketable. There's not much money in short plays or funny little poems. Agents are looking for sitcom spec scripts (and I don't want to be and am too old to be a sitcom writer) or screenplays. Or books.

So that's what I'm shooting for. Since the Callback show, I've crafted a second essay, based on something I blogged about earlier this year and I've outlined a half-dozen or so other ideas. The goal is not to tell my life story, at least not in a literal, totally linear way, but to present elements and episodes of a life in a series of vignettes that could easily stand alone but also, taken together, form sort of the patchwork of a larger story.

That's my goal for the new year. Get a literary agent and work on completing this project.

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