Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How do you spell naive?

Please welcome today's guest blogger David Jones.

How do you spell naive?

I am a story teller. It shouldn’t be too hard to write a book—right? I have made sales presentations to groups from two to fifty, and kept them in the palm of my hand for an hour. I can spin a tale about my desire to go back to sea so convincingly you’d feel the beat of the engines rising from the steel plates of the deck, through your shoes. You’d feel the rise and fall of the swells in a gentle sea, and thrill at the glorious colors in the sunset. I’ve addressed an assembly of two thousand people and had them on the edge of their seats for a half hour. It’d be easy to write a book—right? How do you spell naïve?

There had been a story in my head for twenty years that I thought would make a good book. Finally I sat down and started writing. It’s a good story and will keep your attention. Half way through the book I was found by a lady who is an editor. All was good, she’d slap her ok on the writing and off to the publisher I go, carrying a bucket to hold all the money they’d give me. How do you spell naïve?

She started with sentence and paragraph structure, went to the punctuation, and then got to the technical things. “You’ve got misplaced modifiers here, passive voice there, and you use too many participial phrases. “Huh! I was last in a high school English class over sixty years ago. If they taught me about participial phrases, I was either looking at a girl or thinking about baseball.” I didn’t know a participial phrase from a dangling modifier.

My work was filled with mark outs, cross outs, cut outs and lines. I started over.  My editor is a former teacher and she went back to teaching, turning me slowly from a story teller into a writer. “Every word you write is important,” she repeated often. The young boy in the story didn’t want to take off his shoes after a day of hiking—he yearned to take them off.

My book is now published. Sales are moving along rather nicely. I am now an author, and in the eyes of the uninitiated, an authority. Recently a young lady approached me to discuss the writer’s craft. She was thinking of writing a book. “Do you have an editor?” I asked. “Oh”, she replied, “I just graduated from the University with a degree in English. I don’t need an editor. How do you spell naïve?”

About David:

D. Lincoln Jones
After a thirty-year career working for two Fortune 500 companies, D. Lincoln Jones ventured into the world of private business. As an entrepreneur, he has founded and served as the president of two corporations.
Always seeking new horizons, he has toured the West by motorcycle on his Honda Goldwing. When he settled, he became a student of art, excelling in working with pastels and colored pencil. His work is displayed in homes and small collections across the country. He is most proud of a sketch of Raggedy Ann and Andy, a gift to his granddaughter that she treasures.
Jones has been an avid reader since childhood, so his desire to write has come naturally. Among his favorite books are Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, Shogun by James Clavell, and The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.
High Grade is his first novel. A second is in progress.

David’s website:


Dana McNeely said...

Engaging tale. I'm in the last throes of my first draft, so I can relate. I have a question for your guest though - at the beginning he spoke of his longing to go back to sea, so I figured him for ex-Navy - but in his bio, it says nothing of him ever going to sea. Maybe a fictional sea-longing?

Nike Chillemi said...

Great article. Lots of fun reading it. They say the truth hurts, but it can also make you laugh.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the article, especially because there is a bit of naivety in each of us. LOL>)

Sandy Nachlinger said...

I enjoyed today's post. I'm always amazed when someone tells me their novel is ready for publication -- without a bit of editing from an outside source! "I used Spellcheck," they say. Arrrrgh!
I'll visit David's website to find out more about HIGH GRADE. By the way, Larry McMurtry is one of my favorite authors too.

JAVS said...

You were lucky to find an editor and publisher! Congratulations! I'm still looking for an agent.

dawn said...

I had to laugh at this tale...I think we are all naive when we set out to write a book. It siounds so wonderful in our head doesn't it. And unfortunately, when we read it to ourselves, we blithely ignore the fact that it doesn't sound so good on paper. It's only after the editor's red pen has bled all over it that we suddenly see the light. But how lucky were you to be found by such a thorough and knowledgeable editor? I think you must have a touch of the Irish in you David!