So, since last you heard from me regarding the novel, I've done what is suggested and let it sit, undisturbed, while I try and focus on other things. The goal was to distance myself from it so I can return fresh, and for the most part it's worked. Granted, nobody told me how difficult it is to stop thinking about a story you've been obsessed with and engrossed by for so long, nor how difficult it is to write something new.
I failed in writing something new, I'm afraid. The closest I've come is a few short paragraphs in what could be a new short story, but further details remain largely elusive. It's a story about childhood, though, and childhood fears coming back fresh and less imaginary as one would hope. It's about what remains hidden beyond the mundane monotony of adult life. Who knows, maybe it'll turn into something!
Onto bigger news, though. I recently had a chat with my friend Helen, the fantastic friend who so graciously is editing Lucian. She should be done within the next few weeks, at which point it'll be time to begin the long-awaited edit at last. I go once more onto the breach, dear friends, with some degree of excitement. It's finally time to return to that world of cobblestones and clockwork, and I feel a bit like Harry returning to Hogwarts after the summer holidays. It's time to go home.
What surprised me about this conversation with Helen was her suggestion to write a new opening to Lucian. I've always had problems with the opening, it's true, though could never pinpoint exactly what my issue was. This is why Helen is so great at editing - she can see what is missing from the story, see the wood for the trees as it were. Within half an hour, we had hashed out a brand new opening, several chapters worth of story I had previously overlooked.
|Planning the new additions|
I can't tell you just how excited I am about this. I've long said, half-jokingly, that stories are found objects (other writers agree - in the foreword to The Color Purple, Alice Walker describes herself as a medium for the pre-existing characters, while in On Writing Stephen King describes stories as fossils, waiting to be excavated). This new opening feels like it has always existed, unknown to me, but fitting perfectly in with the story as it exists now. It better represents my main character, David, as sympathetic, and grounds his reality prior to his run-in with Lucian and the surreal in such a manner that, I think, it will lead to a greater understanding of just who David is and why he makes the choices he does.
I've been researching this new opening for the past few days, as there's some factual details to iron out, but I think it's going well. With any luck I'll be ready to begin writing it in a few days, at which point I'll be able to move on with the editing as planned.
So here's to exciting times ahead. I'll do my best to keep this blog up to date with my progress with both this new opening and the edits as well. Hopefully you'll find the process interesting. Meanwhile, if there's anything you'd like to know about the process, or about my writing in general, just let me know in the comments below or through the usual channels. I'm happy to take any suggestions, as always!
Until next time, readers.