First you tell your story. Then, when you’re ready to sell it (to agents, publishers and/or readers), you tell the story of your story.
Actually, it’s more than that. On the one hand, you will be asked to literally tell the story of how your story came to be. On the other hand, you will be asked to tell your story in a condensed version that can vary in size from a couple of pages to a single sentence. It’s like a distilling process. You want to keep the essence of your story, but you want to condense it to digestible nuggets of various size and consistency. Yum.
You spend so much time accumulating words to put into this big, long thing called a book and somehow you have to distill all those words into a single sentence, with all sorts of sizes in between. The very idea of it can be excruciating.
But it is necessary. The various little nuggets you refine to a brilliant shine sell people on the book. They sell people on you. They sell people on your future as a writer. And these marketing tools can win you the chance to realize that future.
So, no pressure.
I’ve read lots of articles, blog posts, even books about this. Maybe this post should be a how-to that distills all the material that I’ve read, but it’s not. Or perhaps it should be a you-can-do-it sort of post. But no, it’s not that either.
Right now I think I’m content to wallow in the overwhelming nature of it all. Because it is overwhelming. It is difficult and it is painful. And it’s even a bit unfair.
Sometimes acknowledging that is enough.