in which things that should have been obvious years ago are belatedly made clear…

14 Nov

Ok, so Calculus of Hope is actually my second novel that will, I hope, be written to completion of at least a first draft (actually the third, but we’re not going to talk about that tolkein pastiche I wrote my senior year of high school because …. shudder.) And the first one, completed two years ago, is still waiting for a massive rewrite because though I loved the story, I kind of meandered through the plot the first draft, thinking that was ok for me to do and I could fix it in the re-write, which is a little like Dr. Frankenstein making up his monster as he went along and attaching three arms and two and a half legs and saying he’d fix it later.

Fixing it at that point is kind of like just making another monster. Fixing the first book is really just writing another book, and that has morphed into the next book after Calculus.

This one I’m concentrating a little less on sentences I like, and more on “Does this make any damn sense and does it screw me narratively later.” See also :”No, no no … now is not the time to split open the structure and add a third POV character….I said NO!” And … this novel will probably be done this month, which means I’ve written it in four months, not two years like the last one. And I’ve been focused on 1 thing and 1 thing only, the narrative structure. I feel like if, in the first draft, the narrative structure makes sense, then I can fix ANYTHING in the other drafts. That is not to say I do not chase bunnies down trails, it just means I have a tether to lead myself back. Or at least a guide dog. I just pray to God there are no squirrels.

First draft …. it’s all about the narrative. It only took me twenty years to figure that out.


Posted by on November 14, 2009 in writing



2 responses to “in which things that should have been obvious years ago are belatedly made clear…

  1. Unfocused Me

    November 15, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Makes sense to me — So far I seem to be writing parallel to my pre-NaNoWriMo outline. I’m going in the same direction, from the same starting point, and will get to the same finish line and will stop at a couple of the same roadside restaurants, but otherwise nothing looks the same. The structure is similar, but the details are all different.

  2. Chadicus

    November 16, 2009 at 12:08 am

    which is great — I love writing that way . a rough map of the mountain leaves a capacity to be surprised. I just tend to jump from mountain to mountain in the middle of free-form drafts, and basically switch the kind of book I’m writing halfway through, which is not a recipe for success. Or sanity, as if that was an option anyway.


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