Remember that book? Yeah, I know. I kind of forgot about it too.
The manuscript of the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year has been sitting on my desk since the beginning of this year. When I pulled it out of the drawer that had been its home since the end of November, I had every intention of going full throttle into National Novel Writing Month; NaNoEdMo, that is. I even gotten a few pages into it. Then I learned that my dad’s cancer had returned, and was terminal. So …
I unearthed it again today, and I think I’m ready to pick it back up again. I mentioned it to a childhood friend when I was back home for my dad’s funeral. She was really enthused to hear about it and said that she’d like to read it when I think it’s ready for someone else to see it.
And that’s when I remembered it’s nowhere near ready for anyone else to see it. Just off the top of my head. the protagonist needs a new name (I think) and a new job (I’m sure), as well as a love interest and a more well-defined antagonist. Speaking of which, there are at least four new characters that I need to work in, and two that I need to bring more fully into the story. That also means at least two sub-plots are coming in the door with some of those characters.
And then there are the gaping holes in the plot of the first draft itself. Oh yeah, and the dialogue that makes me wince. And, lest I forget, there’s the stuff that I actually need to research at some point between now and a final draft. that’s just the stuff I know about. There’s got to be a ton more that I don’t even see yet, and won’t until someone points it out to me. (Gently, I hope. When the time comes.)
Why did I get myself into this, again? It’s at this time that I rather miss the camaraderie of an online community of people slogging their way through their own self-made literary swamps, calling out to one another in dark. But NaNoWriMo is long past, and NaNoEdMo ended over a month ago. Of the rest, I don’t know who made it to the other side and who got mired in the muck and went down. I waded back out just a few steps in, and have been sitting on the bank ever since.
So, I’ve ordered a copy of Sol Stein’s Stein on Writing, after I remembered Kathy mentioning it in a comment a while back. I figure if this guy could guide and advise two of my favorite writers (James Baldwin and W.H. Auden), I might be able to pick up a thing or two from him. Maybe.
If nothing else, maybe it’ll keep me afloat as I’m drifting offer some light on this trip through aforementioned literary swamp. I dug it an filled it, for some confounding reason, and now I’ve gotta get to the other side. So, Sol’s coming with, and maybe Ann Lamott along with anyone else I can find to carry along. I’m going to need all the help I can get. Because I’m wading in for real this time.