It feels like it’s been weeks since I last blogged, but it’s only been six days. Something about February being the shortest month really seems to throw my timing off very badly. Have I told you how much I hate February? I mean, honestly, what a shitty month. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring. I’m not one to usually make such statements, but I’m done with winter.
Alright, enough griping.
The Work-in-Progress (Or Lack Thereof…)
It’s been four months since I finished the first draft of my novel, and I’ve become more and more frustrated with it, but I’ve figured out what’s been frustrating me.
For starters, I’ve realized my novel has two main protagonists, both of whom are linked to one another. I wrote about their relationship in a previous blog. In some regards, I came to understand the relationship between my protagonist and his antagonist in the same way the Joker described his relationship with Batman in The Dark Knight: “You complete me.” They need each other. That’s the story right there. So I’m focusing on that, seeing where the story takes me.
I’m also going back to basics, not just with pen and paper, but writing organically. No more outlines. I’m finding that outlining is cramping my style. The whole “three acts” thing is something that’s bothering me quite a lot. My novel doesn’t have three acts. But there is tension. There is something the protagonist wants, but just quite can’t get, so he has to go through a lot to get it. By forcing the “plotting” principle, I’m finding I’m not letting the story come to me. So, yes, I hereby admit I’m a pantser. Hell, I’ve been a pantser about everything all my life, so this should come as no surprise to me.
Interestingly enough, Michelle Proulx also has an excellent take on why outlines may stifle creativity. She too is a pantser, and proud of it.
Finally, I took some advice I dispensed here a while ago, and began to re-write my novel as a short story. Having written quite a few shorts over the past couple of years, I’ve learned the importance of streamlining a story, cutting the fact, and getting down to the gist of what makes the story go. I’m hoping to see the novel re-emerge again once I re-write it as a short story.
The “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run” Anthology…Is It Ready?
Well, almost, my dears. I finally finished editing it down to about 140 pages, reworking the blogs that make up the entire anthology, along with adding some annotations to help with the flow of the pieces. Also, it didn’t hurt to correct some pretty lousy grammar that was embarrassing me.
What I am slightly struggling with is an Introduction to this anthology. I figured this would have been a piece of cake, but no. I hate summarizing anything about myself or what I’ve written, and this Intro is no different. I really shouldn’t be struggling with this, but I am, for no real reason. Ehh.
At any rate, I’ll be using CreateSpace to self-publish the anthology. Stay tuned for more news in the coming weeks.
The Author News That Is Making Me Geek Out Like Crazy
2013 just might be a banner year for some of my favorite writers publishing new works. Already, there’s been news that Neil Gaiman’s new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, will be published on June 18th, and that Stephen King’s long-awaited sequel to The Shining, called Doctor Sleep, will finally hit bookstores on September 24th.
But the news that Thomas Pynchon’s new novel, Bleeding Edge, will arrive on September 17th, has me in a geeky tizzy. Set to take place in Manhattan’s Silicon Alley between the Dot-Com bust and September 11, 2001, Bleeding Edge will no doubt be Pynchon’s wild take on the vast conspiracies behind the failure of Silicon Alley and the events of September 11th.
I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on his new novel.
Some Random Music Notes
I found myself listening to this piece repeatedly the other night, while writing. Not hard to see why; just take a listen…click, click, clack…