Last night I went out to dinner with Norman and Curtis. Norman and I, as you may recall, have that little bet going about him finishing his screenplay and I my NaNoWriMo project by the end of November; Curtis is also doing NaNo. In fact, Curtis and I had exchanged our respective stories-up-to-that-point on Monday night and we discussed them over dinner yesterday.
I would looove to talk about Curtis' story, but it's not mine to discuss in detail. I will say only that it is written in the style of a well-known author and continues that author's beloved series of novels, but with a decided twist. Curtis has this other writer's style down cold, and his writing is remarkably concise and funny -- I laughed aloud many times while reading his first 17 pages, and he ended his fourth chapter with a bang-up cliffhanger. Curtis told me I may very well be the only person besides himself who ever reads this novel, which is a shame because it's so terrific; on the other hand, I feel incredibly lucky that out of all the people in the world, I'm the one he is allowing to see it. I hope he'll let me keep a copy when he's done.
Curtis had read my first 21 pages and had some positive things to say about my work. More important to me than the specifics of what he laid out was the fact that he read my book seriously and took his role as reader seriously. I know I'm not writing a great book -- I'm not trying to. But I took enormous pleasure in Curtis' treatment of my effort; last night, he made me feel like a writer.