Thursday, July 12, 2007

Novel situation

I find myself in the surprising position of not hating my novel. I returned to it a few weeks ago, after several months off, and despite some hiccups it has been rolling along. I'm especially gratified that--it *seems*--I can finally bring in this character who was once the main character but whom I had to excise from the entire first half. There are basically two parts to the novel, and the second part was the one I was struggling with for about two years, trying to wrench it out of a failed short story. Now some pieces I wrote much earlier seem to be fitting into place, with some revision, of course. (Shades of Robert Olen Butler's index card process, which didn't really work the way he said, but I get it.) Thank god for third-person omniscient (yes, all narrators are omniscient). Whenever you run out of ideas, just write from a different character's point of view, even that of a totally minor character. As Andrew Altschul said in our God Module seminar, allow the third person narrator to zoom in and out, setting up the range at the very beginning. I gave myself a really wide range with this novel, and it helps tremendously.

On the other hand I now hate most of my short stories. Most are in first person, which I'm off (probably temporarily), and some of the ones I liked previously now seem kinked in some unsolvable way. I'd like to have a few more things to send out for publication, but that well is pretty dry at the moment.

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