02 October 2007

Can I ever?

I pulled a book off of my library shelf today, after thinking about a passage in the book and wanting to re-read it.

Instead of just turning to the passage in question, I read about the last 100 pages, refreshing my memory of the story in general. Melanie Rawn wrote six books in the "Dragon Prince" series, and it was the last one, Skybowl, that I wanted to refresh my memory of.

In the book, Rawn kills off many characters, but it is the death of one of my least favorite characters that brings me to tears every time I re-read it. The guy is a sanctimonious, overly religious, smug bastard, who does everything in his power to topple the rightful king, and I know the author's intention was that you not like this character at all, but yet, she manages to make you regret his death, to grieve for his passing.

How the hell does she do that? I've read all six of those books at least ten times, and I still tear up at parts of each book. While re-reading it today, though, I thought of my own little story, my unfinished novel.

My little book is cute, a fun beach-y sort of read, not an evocative, sweeping tale that will make you laugh, cry, and insist that all of your friends read right now. And that makes me a little sad, honestly, because while I know that I'm a writer, I don't know if I've got that sort of sweeping tale within me.

I don't know that every writer struggles with this sort of "I can't possibly be any good" feelings, but I know that many do. LM Montgomery wrote about it in her novels, and I've read things other published authors have said about their own doubts. But I just can't help but wonder if I can ever manage to evoke a reader to tears.

And if I'll ever finish the book.

1 comment:

Dawna said...

I hear ya. The last thing I want is to have one of my books being one of those horrid paper back in the grocery store on a spindally rack by the check out.

Will I ever be good enough that someone will take my book and demand that all her friends read it too... and no one will hate her for it.

Mostly, I don't want to be predictable. Which is hard.