Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gently Down the Stream ~

You may be wondering where I've been or what I've been doing. Mostly I've been working on the novel that I thought was finished. Almost the same day that I said I was finished, I realized that I had a good basis for a novel. I had written about 53,000 words moving toward the first deadline for NaNoWriMo. Then I was given time to get it right by editing and subtracting those odd sentences you can't believe you wrote in the first place. This added another 25,000 words and once again I thought it was complete. But as I moved my mind into other areas of life again, I began to see that I needed more depth to the story that I was writing. So I'm working to tell a deeper story, so that readers can have more understanding of the main character at least.

At one point, I looked at novels by other writers and some of my favorites are in first person. I decided that my novel should also be in first person. First person makes it so "in the now" and personal. So I proceeded to change all the pronouns and tenses in the novel. And first person sounded wonderful for the first three chapters, but not for most of it. As I read through again, I recognized my voice very much like the one on this blog! So I spent a few days changing it all back to third person. Now remember that at this point, I have almost 78,000 words! The best part of this process was seeing that I had too many words in many cases, and that changing the phrase into two words instead of three made a big difference in the awkwardness of reading it.  All in all, it created a better-flowing paragraph.
Having accomplished that chore, I was gratified once more in thinking it was finished--complete. But as I was looking around for a movie to watch on Netflix streaming, I saw one movie on my list from some time ago: The Pillars of the Earth. Netflix didn't think I'd like it all that much, but it had a medieval theme and I wanted to see if I liked it. After watching the first part--there are about 8 parts--I realized that I had heard of the author of the book from which the movie was made. His name is Ken Follett and he has a website, which I looked at. As it turns out, Follett's book had been published in 1989 and was still selling 100,000 copies a year. In talking about the book, he said he had taken 3 years to write it with lots and lots of research being done. His book contained 400,000 words. He thought he would never finish it. And he had a sequel which he wrote a couple of years after this one which is also very long. Can you see where I'm going with this?
My 78,000 words suddenly seemed insignificant. Couldn't I do better than that? Couldn't I put some depth into my novel? But my novel isn't supposed to be all that's for girls and young women. Well, don't I owe them more than fluff? So the blush of writing a novel that began last November continues to haunt my days and nights, while I decide what I want to do with my novel. You asked what I've been doing, and this is my reply. I'll try to give you some blogs along the way.

I hope you're having a good week!

No comments:

Post a Comment