I’ve finally managed to overcome the aversion to puke every time I look or even think of my novel. I have been spending the last few weeks redrafting entire sections. Too early to tell yet if it is salvageable, but so far I’m enjoying the process. When I don’t drive myself crazy with questions, that is.
It doesn’t help that my main character has about 5 voices (one of them painfully passive). In every other chapter she sounds like a different person. Also, my unreliable narrator has disappeared again and my antihero has now become much darker than I hoped for.
Some days I think it would make a better collection of short stories than a novel. But most of the time I just think: BLECH. I wish my poor attempts at a novel didn’t resemble a bottomless pit where I’ve randomly thrown in half-baked ideas, stream of consciousness posing as dialogue and an unrealistic helpings of expectations. I should have chosen a more linear, less chaotic form. Something not so experimental for my first time out.
It stared off initially as non-fiction and for years I collected data and carefully recorded countless conversations and interviews. I stopped being virtual sometime around the year 2000, so picking through old emails and chats has been a laborious, sometimes frustrating prospect. Especially trying to revive some of the earlier concepts. Most of it is so abstact, I’m having difficulty with the balance of story versus ideas.
Someone should warn you about trying these things at home. Eventually, I’ll have to address the more pressing issues of structure and plot, but I can’t be bothered to think that far ahead. For now I’ll just keep rewriting and see what happens. I can’t figure out if that’s a mature attitude, or a defeatist one.
Moving on, I have started making notes for novel 2. I won’t say yet what it is about, as I’m not quite sure myself, but I can tell you that it will be a complete departure from the metaphysical chunkiness of the unfinished novel. I’m hankering for the tangible right now: for smells and tastes and atmosphere. I don’t know if this will make numero deux an easier book to write, but I have a feeling it will be more enjoyable.No doubt after a few years, I’ll be yearning for the abstract again.