04 February 2014

One Book Leads to Another

COLORS OF THE WHEEL was not the first novel I've written, only the first to find its way to publication. Three novels in twenty years: the first a lesson in crafting, and diligence, the second a good book that never found a home, and the third finding its way and some very fine reviews.

Having written one that at last rose to the surface, I find myself with a new confidence, and a greater strength of voice, as I embark on rewriting SIGNS OF LIFE [novel #2]. This one had representation by a big agent and interest by a couple of literary editors at big houses, but did not make the cut, and now, ten years later, I view it with a new set of eyes and a greater set of writing skills and, dare I say, a greater sophistication as a novelist.

After months of the publishing process, which, I was told once long ago by the writer Dani Shapiro, can zap your creative juices, and she was so right, I am back at the keyboard and in the creative zone. I write with a new comfort level. I see characters and prose differently. I also see, painfully, what was missing in that second novel, and what it needs to be enhanced: greater descriptive prose, more attention to the narrative arc, more intensive fluctuating character revelations. I have a good sense of what I need to do to make it better, but I am more than tweaking, I am rewriting and it feels absolutely wonderful.

More wonderfully is that the ten year absence actually provides an opportunity to flesh out the story line with greater meaning. So, that closed door indeed has opened another. Wide.

I've only got the first eight pages right at the moment, but these are critical pages, setting the tone for all those that follow, and where the characters either speak to the reader, or not. As I write, I can almost hear them saying: welcome back creator, you left us too soon.

Among the many pleasures of the writing life is the pleasure of the process.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to return to this novel and know what you must do to improve your story, to be welcomed back, and to get the first 8 pages perfect. What an incentive to continue! Best wishes.