Saturday, November 28, 2015

Deep see, diving

Last night I sat down and started going through the rewrite. I was equipped with some print outs, highlighters, pens, and some notes I took concerning what I remember leaving out, messing up on, and just holes in general that needed filling. I didn't get very far into the process. Initially, I was happy because there were no serious errors, and as I went along I actually recalled stopping around chapter 10 or so, and going through the beginning just to make sure I wasn't imagining things. I thought to myself, "Oh, well, this might not even be worth it. Surely the beginning is fine."

That sentiment quickly changed when I piled on the knowledge I had gained by actually finishing the rewrite. I thought the pen would be enough, circle here, arrow there, some underlining, some striking through. Then, I put the pen down, and took up the highlighter. Entire sections needed to be scrutinized under the bright ink. I was reminded again of a writer friend's appraisal that many times, my sentences and passages need to be "unpacked." The more I see it, the more I understand what he meant.

A different friend, also on yesterday, accused me of being "Hemingway-esque," on several occasions. She is a Shakespearean scholar and somewhere between my expressing dislike over the excessive nature of that style, and those who take from it, she blurted about my lack of description. That's when she compared me to the author of few words. "I want poetry," she confessed. She also admitted that she had thought it previously, and wanted to say it, but wasn't sure if it mattered, because she still thinks my writing is good. So, we cleared the air.

I did not come away thinking that I should change my style, but I knew all along that this novel was different. She'd read my urban fantasy, where the setting is the next room over from the everyman's everyday. That, for me, is an essential aspect of urban fantasy, of the supernatural or horrific tale. First, it has to be recognizable, not so the reader invests, but so the reader falls backwards into the belief that the setting is the world they know, so that when things start to bloom with magic, they can believe that their own world might have some wonder, also. This new story is science fiction. With aliens and spaceships and advanced technology as mainstays within the genre, descriptions become more important. I knew that, going in, and busy clouds of highlighter insist that I did not do a great job.

Good news is that I'm in a good place, finally, to address those things, to take a step back and focus on the detail that occurs within the framework of a story of which I am finally proud. I am confident that I can do it. I am less confident that I can do it in a time span that let's me achieve such a goal by beginning of next year. However winter break is upcoming. Maybe I'll throw myself into it, and see what happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment