Susan’s Inside Writing: I have a confession to make


Originally, Trevor’s Song was supposed to be the follow-up book to the story of Mitchell, Kerri, and Kerri’s mother. It was supposed to tell the story of ShapeShifter’s dead bass player. The hows, the whys … all that fun stuff.

But then I woke up one day and realized that Trevor’s Song is really the better story. That I’m still floundering with the story of Kerri’s mother; it’s not right. Yet. So shopping commenced and by last May — yeah, a few short months ago — I realized that the problem I’m having with selling Trevor’s Song isn’t the writing or the story or anything of the sort. It’s that it’s hard to sell a book about a rock star. It’s hard to sell a book about a dude with cancer.

Put them together and it ain’t like what you get when chocolate and peanut butter taste great together.

At about this time, some of you devoted groupies started to really fall hard for Trevor Wolff. You guys love the man.

And I began to feel guilty. Because, after all, I know how the book ends. It ain’t pretty. And you guys won’t like it. The more Rhian fights the whole world for her shot at Trevor, the worse I’ve been feeling.

Thunder and lightning have been themes for me this summer, and today, lightning struck in the form of Lisa Andel, who is probably floored by the ease with which I took what was a very bold, critical statement and found paydirt. All those years of writers’ workshops in undergrad and MFA programs do pay off in the long run, boys and girls. They teach you how to stare down an ugly truth and turn it into something beautiful.

So… the post I had edited for later today will have to wait a few while you digest this news and try to figure out what I’m up to. Booking Through Thursday, which I was going to have a lot of fun with this week, will have to wait for another day and another topic.

Right now, I’ve got a book to revise. And an ending that’ll make Rhian just that much happier.


I mean, there’s still this girl named Heather for her to consider…



  1. bunnygirl

    August 31, 2007 6:55 pm

    Be sure and save the first ending under a different name, just in case the new stuff doesn’t work out!BR/BR/Personally, I prefer unhappy or ambiguous endings, so don’t go making the story too happily-ever-after!

  2. Susan Helene Gottfried

    August 31, 2007 8:09 pm

    Have no fear, bunny. There ARE no happy endings in Trevor’s World.

  3. Tilly Greene

    August 31, 2007 8:28 pm

    Hmmm, I’m thinking there will be some people coming to hunt you down if Trevor ends with his toes up…I’m open minded, and will wait to see what you do 🙂

  4. Mr. Althouse

    August 31, 2007 8:41 pm

    It all sounds so very complicated. I hope everyone is ok… or not!BR/BR/Michele sent me,BR/BR/Mike

  5. Charmaine Lake

    August 31, 2007 8:47 pm

    My interest is definateyl piqued, thanks for the comment =)

  6. Carmi

    August 31, 2007 9:51 pm

    I love how writing kinda evolves, and we often seem to have no power over which elements, characters or storylines will ultimately prevail.BR/BR/Kinda humbling, come to think of it.

  7. DK

    August 31, 2007 10:21 pm

    Ooh, a new direction – I am always fascinated when my writing takes off in its own direction instead of following the course I originally envisioned. Seems all some of these characters need is a starting point; after that, step out of the way and just record what they do! Enjoy the ride :)BR/DK

  8. Thomma Lyn

    August 31, 2007 11:16 pm

    To put it mildly, II am intrigued!/I

  9. Michele

    September 1, 2007 12:46 am

    Stopping by to say hello…BR/BR/Okay, I will admit that your claim, on my blog, that Trevor was swoon-worthy certainly pulled me over here. I am very fond of swoon-worthy rock star type men. Or at least men I view as my own personal rock star. BR/BR/I shall continue to watch, and good luck letting Trevor show you which way his story should lead you.

  10. cheesygiraffe

    September 1, 2007 12:48 am

    Ut oh! What are up revising in the book? 😮

  11. Bob-kat

    September 1, 2007 9:47 am

    I must be wierd as endings that are too happy always leave me feeling a little ill. I guess it’s because life isn’t like that on the whole.

  12. Jean-Luc Picard

    September 1, 2007 10:24 am

    Changing the ending is always an interesting perspective.BR/BR/Michele sent me here.

  13. Rhian / Crowwoman

    September 1, 2007 10:25 am

    Susan – ignore IGNORE everyone out for Trev blood! Throw them some other unlucky character to feed their bloodlust! Do not take out my boy! And yeah I’m more than willing to beat off all the other Trevor fans with a big stick. Mine I tell you! ALL mine! (glaring around the blogroom)BR/ps – i love you Lisa. And I’ll continue to love YOU Susan, if you take pity on poor Trevor who has had more than his fair share of life trials to endure. ‘Kay?

  14. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 1, 2007 10:31 am

    … but isn’t asking him to live with cancer just adding to the shit he’s had to endure in his life? BR/BR/A-ha, says you. I understand why he dies. Or died. Or lives.

  15. Nancy

    September 1, 2007 11:57 am

    Oh Boy! I just want to read this BOOK! NOW! SIGH!BR/BR/Ok…the writing process is amazing. I am so glad you have friends that can give you advice w. the highest intention.

  16. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 1, 2007 12:00 pm

    *laugh*BR/BR/That makes me feel good, Nancy, but right now? I’m busy revising!!BR/BR/Hopefully we’ll begin to have news soon.

  17. November Rain

    September 1, 2007 2:25 pm

    from one writer to another let me wish you luck in your endeavorBR/BR/and not all good books end and they live happily ever afterBR/BR/BR/by the way Michelle sent me

  18. Ellira

    September 2, 2007 6:56 pm

    Congratulations on taking that plunge. I know how hard it can be. I’m sure you’ll be able to give Trevor’s story the ending it deserves. 🙂

  19. Thomma Lyn

    September 2, 2007 7:03 pm

    Guess what, my friend! You got another award *big grin*! C’mon over to my blog and check it out. BR/BR/Your devoted groupie,BR/BR/TL 😀

  20. julia

    September 2, 2007 9:38 pm

    This is very exciting, Susan! Keep us posted on the evolution.

  21. Lisa Andel

    September 3, 2007 9:44 am

    Uh … erm … I didn’t mean to be harsh. You’re not going to kick me out of here now, are you?BR/BR/At least Rhian loves me still.

  22. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 3, 2007 9:59 am

    No, no. It was the right kind of harsh. The kind that got the wheels turning and solved a problem I didn’t want to admit I had. BR/BR/If anything, I’m keeping you closer by my side! I need advisors like you!

  23. Wylie Kinson

    September 3, 2007 7:58 pm

    Well SHG – you certainly get the “I’m hooked” award of the day. To say you’ve got my curiosity peaked is an understatement!!BR/BR/Good luck with the revisions!!BR/And God bless honest CPs!!

  24. Camille Alexa

    September 4, 2007 2:49 pm

    Susan,BR/An epiphany! I like it when that happens with the writing. It is good. It can also hurt.

  25. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 4, 2007 4:02 pm

    Yep, I agree. The revision’s more involved than I’d anticipated, though.BR/BR/Oh, well. From struggle comes beauty.

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