666?

8 09 2010

Two-thirds, that is—I’m about 2/3 of the way through the chop-edit of my first novel.

I’ll go back over it, again, once I’ve finished with the axe, but by then sandpaper should do.

As I’m thwacking my way through this, it’s so, so clear how much a first novel this is. I knew that, before, even when it was still my darling, but my cold eyes now see all of the cracks covered by my previous affection.

Still, I plan to go through with my plans to Smashwords this. Flaws and all, it is still an engaging enough read. And I’ll never write another novel like this one.

Perhaps that’s why I’m willing to put this cracked-pot out there: because I won’t ever write something like this again.

My second novel, as I’ve mentioned, is better, more complex, and my third novel—well, two of my three third novels (not counting the first third-novel, now languishing in a persistent vegetative state)—take(s) me even further away from my experiences and more into ‘what-if’ territory.  I don’t want any of these novels to become mechanical (cf. Ian McEwan, Richard Powers), but I do want to see if I conjure a novel out of the air rather than memory.

I rush to remind that the first novel is not autobiographical—and in the reminder hope you don’t notice the rush. To say that the characters are not me or her or her or him is true enough, but, in fact, I’m not wholly comfortable with how much is recognizable. This is one novel that, for those who know me, one could say Oh, yeah, I see that. And not just see what I see, but see parts of me that I don’t see.

Terrifying.

But if I am to write for others, I have to allow that those others will see what I don’t see. I can control everything up to the point I let it go, at which point I must simply let it go.

So that’s why I want to put (the still provisionally-named—please, if you have any suggestions, let me know) Unexpected People out there. Few people are likely ever to read it, certainly, but the risk—the risk!—that it might actually be read, well, let me start dealing with that now, with the novel that got me started.

That all sounds backasswards, I know: I’m afraid not that I won’t have readers, but that I will. But there it is.

And so if I am ever to make a move with my other novels or any other writing, I have to stop hiding, stop protecting whatever the hell it is I think I’m protecting, and let it go.

And so, after the chopping and sanding, and the running of my hand over it one last time, I’ll let it go.


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5 responses

9 09 2010
Norma Reese Freeborne

It is helpful to know you are “keeping on, Keeping on”..

9 09 2010
dmf

good luck with all of this, somethings have to be shared for them to be real and for us to know that we mean them so regardless of the response i imagine that this leap of faith will serve you well. is this writing life part of why you aren’t in the publish or perish world nether world?

9 09 2010
absurdbeats

@Norma: thanks!

@dmf: Oh, that’s a story unto itself—not an interesting one, unfortunately, but let’s just say if I’m going to write for free then I’ll write what I and not a bunch of anonymous reviewers want. . . .

10 09 2010
dmf

fair enough, i’m always interested in the decisions people make around work as i struggle with this myself but certainly appreciate that not all things are public.

13 09 2010
geekhiker

So, when you do publish, will those of us who read your blog be allowed to read? (Assuming, of course, I can find the time for pleasure reading these days! LOL)

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