I wrote my first draft and have not really touched it in any meaningful manner since 2006. Mostly due to having a baby and learning french and fretting about being under-employed. Although I did attend a class on how to find an agent in 2007 and went to a writers workshop in 2008. Now I am changing careers from being an under-employed hopefully to a Researcher. With more enthusiasm than I expected I am finally able to take the advise of an agent that met with me in 2008 who had told me to revise my novel for six months and send her the draft. I never did this for a variety of reasons. I am doing these revisions now.
Me and my novel are back together sort of to speak. I immediatley realize several things upon wakening this morning. Do I want a novel with lots of dialogue or lots of images. For whatever reason when I think about Anna Karenina or War and Peace all I can remember are these pictures in my mind. Vronksy living beyond his means scaldalizing his wealthy relatives or the prince after he was poor sitting alert in his armchair when the princess who would soon be his wife walks in the door. Not that my novel is on this calibre. I am just thinking of what I remember of novels that visually really struck me. And how other novels like Herman Melville's Moby Dick its a general altered state that stayed with me sometimes more than the images. Also in books like the Confederacy of Dunces or Ruby Fruit Jungle I remember the dialogue, what the characters thought during situations. A life used up or Ignacious bellowing what an abortion.
How does that apply to my novel? Two things come to mind this morning. I need to do less describing and more showing of the characters by interaction or symbols. Although there is plenty of explanation in Tolstoy. I will try and grapple with that as it comes up this first revision. The second thought that comes to mind is my side story is weak. The main story is okay, linear, with lots of action and interesting. The secondary storyline needs to be developed. When I wrote the story the main two characters were so important and being unexperienced I wasn't able to write in a meaningful secondary story. I will start to work on that.
The good part now having gone through just the first ten pages is that I am confident about the storyline. I didn't want a book full of flashbacks like Tender Mercies which I read, although I loved the movie that didn't use the flashbacks. I don't want a modern story where everyone is on the email and cell phone. I want to write a really solid story. I am confident I have achieved that with my attempt. Also, I think my overall idea is good and the settings and characters are interesting and the working draft is enough of a start to give me something to think about and improve. It's my first novel. It is not finished for me.
On a less writerly blogging note, and more of a blogging blogging note. It is Sunday morning here around 1000 AMish, my son has a minature rabbit named Scooter and he is so cute, he knows to carry him gently and he has been walking around the livingroom telling me and my husband that the rabbit is his baby. He also told me that he is a boy, daddy is a boy, scooter is a boy, our dog cowboy is a boy and mommy is a boy. Thats his joke to get his parents to notice. Although he might think I am a boy I don't know.
Everyone have a good Sunday.
Addendum: Just read the NYT's and learned that a terrible shooting has happened in Arizona of a US house of representative member. With a judge dying and a nine year old girl also dying and several others. I believe the article said that 18 people had been shot. With my recent comments to other writers. My offbeat observations about bullets and children. I can't help but think of that Concrete Blond song, "God is a bullet have mercy on us everyone".