from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Entry #12: Full Frontal Disclosure

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These past two weeks have been devoted to revising Lesson One (“Always Be Prepared”). The introduction and this particular chapter have been the most problematic (i.e., boring) and underdeveloped sections of my manuscript. They also constitute the first 30 pages of the book, which some agents ask for once they are interested in taking on a client.

This chapter covers the hectic period from my arrival in Korea at the end of 2002 and the discovery of my nationality status and unfulfilled military obligations to the days before heading to basic training. It’s basically an explanation of how I ended up in the Korean Army and how I tried to avoid it.

In my revisions, I decided to add a largely humiliating section I had previously and intentionally omitted. It is a part of the story I have never told anyone, and I doubt even my family members remember it. I normally leave it out because “if I related this part of the story, the listener would not only no longer feel the need to give me a big hug but might feel something akin to disgust or the kind of pity you give to a filthy bum sitting on the street corner in soiled clothes as you cross the street to avoid him.”

I decided to put it in because “an honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,” both of which have been absent in my life for too long a time. Whether it is ultimately a good idea is hard to gauge but, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve become more honest since coming to Korea and less needy for the recognition of others.

Of course, I will not be sharing that part of the story on this blog. I’d much rather tell the few people who buy my book than the few people who read my blog. Because they are paying customers. I guess that is my biggest aversion to blogging. If I’m going to make an effort, I want to get paid for it.

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Written by Young

June 6, 2010 at 8:44 pm

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