Wolf I may be, but I feel like Aslan when it comes to this novel: he once described himself as a builder of bridges, and I’ve done this with my book, at long last.
As I mentioned in a blog post way back in January of 2009, I cut out an absolutely huge section of the book, because in getting the characters from Point A to Point C, I found I’d written a Point B that didn’t hold up well on re-reading. So I put a good 60 pages or so on the chopping block. Thunk! went the blade, and, unlike the blood of various gods and heroes, the spilled drops did not cause flowers to immediately spring from the earth. No, this new bloom took some time to develop, but I finally did it: I put in an “on the road” section that fits so much better now, with much more character development.
And that’s one of the best parts about writing, in my mind. It’s a source of endless fascination to me to find that my characters do not reveal themselves to me all at once. I get to know them the same way I get to know any of my friends and loved ones. Just when I think I know all there is to know, they do something to surprise me, revealing some new quirk or some new strength; or they show me they still carry scars from something that happened to them long ago. And yet…just as with “real” people…nothing my characters do ever truly surprises me: hints are always there. Remember that when you finally read the novel.
So, the next step is to make sure everything from points C and beyond makes sense of what now exists at Point B, which hasn’t been all that difficult. My August deadline definitely looks like it’s within reach.
As always, thanks — wait, before I go, I want to do something unusual and re-recommend the Abominable Charles Christopher. I stopped reading it for a while — which is a good thing to do with something released on a weekly schedule — and I’m happy to say it’s better than ever. If I can manage to weave a story half as well as that comic’s creator, I will be a very happy man.
As always, thanks for reading.