Working an old book new

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Take a novel-in-progress, ten years old.   Call it ninety drafts, though you believe it's many more.  Take every original character out, but two.   Change the plot.  Change the genre.  Change the cast (save for those original two).  Keep only the landscape, and a scene or two with food.  Change the tense and change the tone.  Weave and dodge and braid.  Uphold the bulls.  Encourage the horses.  Explore Seville.

If you are still working on this novel it's because it will not let you go. 

6 comments:

Jeannine Atkins said...

I like this kind of how-to piece: all about the need to get something right more than finished. Hoping that ninety-one, so to speak, holds a charm.

Lilian Nattel said...

That sounds pretty much like my process of writing. ;)

Sherry said...

Not enough published books these days receive this kind of labor of time and attention. I, for one, am glad that it has not let you go.

septembermom said...

Being a writer is truly being a caretaker. Attentiveness, love, concern, and energy are all needed to keep the work going.

Beth, sorry that I've been absent of late. So busy with school volunteer projects. I miss reading your posts. I'll be by again soon. Hope all is well!

a. fortis said...

Really striking photo!

grete said...

Beth -

A secret then, hidden somewhere between the lines, beneath the words, below, above, yonder.....

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