Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And we roll on

Where is all the writing? Thousands and thousands of words appearing not here in this neglected blog but on the creeping growth of my work-in-progress. I've always known that consistency and moderation are the keys to smart exercise, like marathon training. But it turns out the long slow burn -- for me, anyway -- is also the way to write a novel.

Actually, in this case, I am re-writing in a complicated and risky way that I hope will pan out. "Just wait until the re-read," I keep telling myself. You have to kill the doubts, because even though they may be justified, they will douse the creative spark.

I am unraveling the threads of the book and weaving in a new character, new perspective, additional thickness that should make it more real and more compelling. Many scenes are new; a few are rewritten from another point of view, which involves (I'm learning) more than a simple copy-and-paste of pronouns. Different characters describe things in different ways. They notice different things, use different vocabularies. They are different cameras through which to see the world.

Right now I'm rushing to get it all down in a way that makes rough sense. Later I'll shape it. Will it work? That's what I'm gambling on. If I didn't believe I wouldn't work at this solitary mind game.