Friday, May 13, 2016

One Never Knows

In the interest of accountability, I finished 6 ½ of my 8 goals yesterday. The only ones I missed were editing someone else's article and watching baseball. Technically there was a game on, but I had no interest in either team and watched Star Trek instead. Partial credit.

Moving on, today it's more of the novel. It's always more of the novel, which is fine because I love it. Not the novel itself, which needs more improvement than I might be able to give it, but the process. The discipline.

I've tried writing a novel twice before. Once in college, then again last summer.

The one in college I wrote late at night, usually accompanied by Joe Satriani's Flying in a Blue Dream or J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. It was a sustained effort, and I got to revisit my characters at the end of every day, which provided some level of comfort.

The key problems were a) it lacked plot and b) I had no clue what I was doing. Either or both might have been overcome, but after a year or so I gave up. I finished a first draft, but attempts at revision made things worse rather than better. I was young and frustrated, and there was much else to do in life like earn enough money for food and rent.

That novel was written longhand on yellow legal pads. I'm pretty sure it's still in a black notebook somewhere in the garage. Now that 25 years have passed I'm tempted to find it and see if anything can be salvaged.

I attempted my second novel last summer. The story feels contrived, and there's too much exposition, but again I loved the process. I might use the setting for something else, borrow a character or three. One never knows.

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