Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Novel update

I've been wrestling with this novel so long that it's hard to find new ways of talking about my work on it. Now that my trip is over and I've rested a bit, I'm back on it. I did quite a bit of writing--bits and pieces--on the road, and much of it I feel good about.

When I looked over my drafts, I found them to be cluttery. While I was on the road, I found a voice and method that pleases me. So, yes, I am starting over. Not really starting over because I'm using most of what I've already written. It just needs to be recast in the new voice, style. And of course when you change your voice, your narrator changes, and when your narrator changes, everything does. So it's best just to start fresh.

But I have a new plan. I've figured out that if I write just three to four pages a week, I will have the book finished in a year. I hope to do better than that--finish earlier--but for right now this plan seems possible. Fifty-two weeks times four pages is 208-pages, a good length for a novel and certainly the longest single work I have ever written.

I am off to a good start. I told one of the Graduate Students I taught last fall that my new prose is like fresh, clean sheets snapping on a line just waiting for a reader to take them in, put them on their bed, and warm them with their body.

New goal: By the end of July 2010 have a complete first draft of novel 2 finished.

If I do as well with this goal as I did with the Haiku, I'll be happy. My original goal was to write 100 Haiku in a year. I started last fall and so far have over 200.

2 comments:

Judith HeartSong said...

I like the idea of not overwhelming the new beginning with a too-tight deadline. This encourages creativity and frees up the process... good for you!

ggw07 said...

“Writing a novel is like making love, but it's also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it's like making love while having a tooth pulled.”
Dean Koontz

The sure way to get to your lover's bed or the dentist is with an appointment.
Keep going!
Gretchen

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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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Fave Painting: Eden

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The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

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