3.16.2007

novelution: she loves me not

This week, I had my first non-starter session on the novel. I didn't want to read it from the beginning, didn't have the will to start a new section, had fresher drafts at home while I was at the office (note: this is an excuse), etc.

I kept looking for a way in, doing a bit of research which proved very edifying, but research ain't writing. I should have taken that research and incorporated it immediately into the draft I had available, then melded that one with the newer one at home. I should have pushed, but I didn't.

So this is it, our first fight. The character was silent, would not slip her voice into my ear. But I am an ardent suitor, undeterred. I will woo till I drop. I will keep showing up. Serenades on bended knee with trio of strings. Flowers by the mile. Come to think of it, those won't work.

What would my character want? What would win her over? This is another way in--the questions about your character that don't need urgent answering but that will lead inside the work, get you in the door again.

My girl isn't girlie, but she is a kid. And a reader. Maybe a paperback of a Jane Austen she hasn't read (is there one?) wrapped in a NYT Book Review and left at her doorstep (she's pretty shy).

Ah: she loves me again.

PS: Have begun reading McEwan's Atonement, both for pleasure and as a study of voice, of how he reveals information, of character (one main character is an adolescent, so it's doubly relevant for me, although the novel is 3rd person). So far, very engaging--I always worry with these hyper-praised books that they'll be impenetrable or dull or both. This one's neither, so far.

1 comment:

mary said...

I really get this. With my novel that I've been planning, I've been doing index-card plotting. And then I get stuck, so I lay in bed at night thinking, thinking, thinking...and it eventually comes back, I pull out the index-cards and start plotting again. Frustrating!