Monday, September 20, 2010

Mistakes I made writing this novel

Not relevant, but oh-so pretty.

It's nonsense, I'm telling you. I've taken precautions this time to not let my novel spin out of control and cause mayhem, but it has happened again. Mid-novel [time and time again], I reach the point I realize that what I'm doing won't bear any fruit. Despite the pre-planning, a lengthy outline [not lengthy enough in retrospect] and an exact idea of what I want, my own subconscious mind has pointed out that I've been toying with one aspect, when I should've considered all layers.

The result: A stick-figure instead of an actual skeleton [if I'm to speak in analogies]. All of the usual mid-novel Eurika's demand great changes in the beginning. Then, wait for it, I will experience the Domino Effect of Ideas. The middle won't be spared and the ending will go through its own stages of alteration. I've been staring at the two possible choices for weeks and it's either write it [hating the process, because I'll regret having to delete them only to write new ones] or drop it like a hot potato and leave it on the percolator. For Theresa, I'll even include an analogy from her home country. I want a duck, not Balut. [While you are at it, please do search for pictures of Balut; it's a delicacy after all.]

I decided to post-pone finishing 'Air Boy', until I sort out everything around it. My mistakes are not involving characters at all and just write about the protagonist, until I got the right feeling for Ambrose. Now, that I understand Ambrose, I started going after the whole cast, which I have been neglecting. I know that Ambrose's father is harboring a secret, which will help with another issue Ambrose has. I'm entertaining the idea of the Smith family having a big, dark secret, but that will not be until later. The Smith family has an interesting history and so does the city. I didn't bother with any of that, which is a bad, bad decision.

I should've made my re-search about where to place the Smith family. I picked Colorado for the right geography and climate. The idea was to create a fictional city, which I failed to do, because I do not live in the USA and I have no idea what a town or a city feels there. Next best thing: I picked a real, small town [Gunnison] and gave it a make-over. Gunnison v.02 will be wicked, weird, because the land is wicked and weird. It took about four hours to get all the data I needed, but the impact on everything in the story is great and positive. People do not kid, when they say that you need to know a whole lot more than you show in the novel. It's a lesson well-learned.

So, forced by the muse, I'm back to the drawing board. AND never ever neglect your cast and the environment.


Charles Gramlich said...

There is a lot of trial and error in writing. It can be easy to get pulled away from the main story into tangents. You have to be utterly ruthless. IF it doesn't work for "this" book it has to be excised.

Harry Markov said...

It doesn't work, because it's a series and I skipped some bits that are vital [though I realize this in retrospect, rather than anything else].

T.S. Bazelli said...

Ahh it's all a learning process. Even if it is wrong, it's not wasted effort, because now you can see the layers that you could not before hand.

PS I'm back! :D