The birth of a child called Prose

If you are a budding author and you have given birth to a completed, rough-draft manuscript, congratulations—you have taken the first step as another parent of Prose.  Without a completed rough draft, the thoughts in a want-to-be-writer’s head are nothing but dreams floating among distant stars.

A natural birth for Prose is desired but sometimes we must force Prose out through a cesarean cut.

Then the next step begins as we raise Prose to maturity through editing and revisions to sculpt him into a readable product that hopefully will sweep across the world as if it is a tsunami but these events are rare.

This phase of parenting Prose may feel tedious, because the addicted writer often wants to move on to give birth to Prose II, and to give birth again … and again, and usually writers hate lingering over Prose already delivered through months of labor.  But as a parent, we have an obligation to make sure that the Prose we gave birth to has a chance to survive in a world where all children called Prose fight for attention and the majority loses.

Eventually, the time comes to kick Prose out of the nest—in fact, that is the duty of the parent that gave Prose birth. Some parents fear letting his or her Prose go alone into the wilderness, but it must be done.

For example, there is the rough draft of my next novel, Running from the Enemy, after writing and rewriting this Prose for five years out of UCLA’s writing extension program twenty-five years ago, he ended in a box gathering dust on a garage shelf until 2012, and every year I heard him screaming to be set free. Now, after a year of editing and revising that Prose, soon I will shove him out of the nest.

However, a parent never stops being a parent. Most parents want the best for his or her children and usually offer some sort of support after kicking the adult child out of the nest. For an author, that means marketing and promotion and hoping that, as parents, we gave Prose what was needed to survive and thrive in a brutal, competitive world where there are no guarantees of success.

Discover Authors Finding Readers or learn The Need to Edit


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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