Dec. 28th, 2008 @ 09:21 pm
I have this theory that writing a novel is an epic journey, as opposed to a short story, which might be a day hike, or weekend camping trip. Sounds self-evident, when I put it like that, but I suppose it's still worth saying because I didn't realize it when I started writing mine. I finished a rough draft, today, and I can see now how, if I were in the Fellowship of Ring or something, I'd have just reached Rivendell and now have a few months of relaxing to look forward to. I feel excited, maybe a little frightened of how it's going to turn out, but overall optimistic, because I can still see the original vision for this thing shimmering somehow under the horrible rough prose and shaky structure of this draft. I still think it can be good, and I was afraid at certain points that I would lose that optimism.
A novel is long enough that what could be tragedies when writing a short story (might as well scrap this and write something else) really do seem like opportunities. For example, my working title was "Horns." Maybe I had become too attached to it, anyway, I wasn't making any effort to come up with another title, which was fine, I suppose. But then, several months ago I read on Joe Hill's website that he was working on a novel called "Horns." A moment of panic, then I remembered that it was a working title only, and just then a new title popped into my head, one which worked on many levels, and which caused all kinds of other connections, and suddenly a lot of what I'd written had a new dimension. Thanks, Joe!
I still have a lot of work left. At least a few months of (slogging? invigorating?) revision. And then, the bleak part at the end where I try to get it published. Maybe some giant eagles will drop out of the sky and carry me into print.
|Date:||December 29th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)|| |
I was wondering where you'd nipped off to. Hope the drafting goes well; I'm in a vessel of similar make at the moment. In my experience revising is where the Deep Hurting can set in so if you get hung up on something and want an outside perspective feel free to email me anytime.
Titles...I've never suffered the dread writer's block but I've got a chronic case of notitleitis, which is why my titles wind up leaning towards the spartan instead of the ornamental. And yet, like a chump, I usually title my chapters, thereby multiplying my woes. Something to be said about not settling on a title until the work's at least roughly drafted, for the reason you mention of adding further dimensions to the text.
Any rate, huzzah!
|Date:||December 30th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)|| |
Congrats on the first draft! I'm 80k into the one I'm working on and it just seems to keep going and going. I know editing will cut off a massive hunk of that--there is SO much tightening to do. I've got to reach the end of the first draft before that though, and that is a feat I have yet to have ever completed, though I have five novels started and two near the end. I just can't seem to land the plane. Congrats to you and good luck on the editing process! Remember, I'm always foaming at the mouth to see any of your work, so if you need any readers, you know I'm already in line, shoving the next guy behind me. :)
Thanks--hey, by the way--can you send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org? I still don't have yours right.
ROUGH DRAFT FINISHED W00T
Good plan. I will be writing a short novelish kind of thing before I do any rewrites on this one. They are fun!
|Date:||December 30th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)|| |
Congrats! I was just wondering what you were up to lately, not even 24 hours before reading this post. ;)
If you need a second reader, let me know, always a pleasure.
You want a different take on short stories try some of Somerset Maugham's. He'll take you on what seems like a day trip but when you're through you'll feel like you've been away for a month with the inhabitants of another world. And he does it in 8 or 10 pages, or less. I highly recommend Maugham for self-tutorial on character development. If you can find a copy of "The Narrow Corner" buy it. It's hard to find, about 200 pages long but a masterpiece in depth of characters. I read it fairly regularly every year or so.
In any event, congratulations on the completion of a milestone.