out of the ashes

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th, 2012 Anno Domine


This is not the Common Era. What the hell does that title mean? Was there once an Uncommon Era? Give me a break.

Happy 4th (anyway)!

“Write beautifully.”
Okay. Think plot, though. That’s what I’m working on. Re-working on. 

I’ve gone into Marvin—changed the title to “The Dance Of The Spiral Virgins.” Gone in and begun re-reading each chapter in the new preview at Createspace and in my doc. I bagged the opening chapter wherein I opened with a weak description of Marvin, etc., etc. in the last upload to Createspace. Months ago I thought it was so much better than the one before it. It hit me that it wasn’t, and it didn’t do anything at all for the story. So, in the latest I simply have Marvin falling in a dream—the dream in which he meets Amy. Afterward he’ll be in the hospital, with a bit of back story showing how he came to be there. I have to keep forward movement in mind, and yet I don’t want to lose the humor or lyricism.

When I redid the entire book a year or so ago, I kept several of the original chapters, as I liked them. In particular the night Maribeth tells Daddy and Mums about her new pet, stashed in the overflow bedroom in the basement. I was charmed by how I’d presented Marvin as the new creature—how I reconciled his being accepted into the family by Richard, the governor. Looking back the entire episode left me flat. It was too pat, too quickly arrived at. The next morning (next chapter) I had Marvin dancing up to the breakfast table, and there being interrogated by the governor, who’s had a change of heart concerning the new boarder. Marvin reads two classic books at the breakfast table in something like ten minutes, and gives a synopsis of both. Richard lets him stay. It was all wrong, especially the narrative voice in the chapter where Maribeth introduces our hero to her father.

So now I’m completely revising that part of the plot, cutting out the windy “lyricism” and the contrived portion at the breakfast table in the chapter following.
I keep thinking, Once I get those two chapters straightened out (I’ll have to go forward in the ms. and make certain there are no references to either of the incidents in the cut chapters!) I’ll be good-to-go. Finis, at last. How many times have I said that?

Still, in the end, it’s plot, plot, plot. Oh...And make the characters real, even if it’s a fantasy. Sometimes writing is so bloody hard.

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