Thursday, December 28, 2006

nano redux

At the end of the novel-writing month in November, everyone who participated got an e-mail telling us to put it aside for a few weeks and then read it again and see if we thought it was worth more time and effort. So I haven't touched it since Nov. 29th. I pulled it out again this afternoon and read through about half of it. It was pretty dang disappointing.

I was so happy with the experience of doing it-- how charged/energized it made me feel -- that I had decided in (the absence of actually reading it) that it must be pretty good. But it's not. And it's not necessarily because it's badly written, although there are certainly a lot of parts that need work. It's more a fault of the way it's set up. The story is told through the journal entries of a 13 yr old girl named Sarah. And unfortunately, a very significant part of the plot has to do with when she is silent and when she isn't. So unless you're paying attention to the dates and noticing when she's silent, which I never do when I read a novel like this, it just doesn't work. I tried adding in journal entries from her friends during the spaces where she is silent, but that only partially solves the problem-- they convey the passage of time, but they're boring compared to Sarah's struggle to come to terms with her mother's death. What the heck can happen to them that will balance out the death of a parent? Nothing that I can think of without getting into absurd soap opera kind of stuff.

So I'm feeling bummed. But not entirely. It was still eye-opening for me to figure out that I can do this, and that even though it made me crazy at times, I liked doing it. And those are some pretty good things to know. I think I am going to work on it some more because it really isn't even finished, I just ran out of time at the end. But I don't think it is worth a major effort at rewriting and revising. ..................... darn it.

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