Sunday, March 31, 2013

Finished Sometimes a Dragon.

I've finished the rewrite of SOMETIMES A DRAGON.

All the pieces are in place.  Everything I planned to put in -- more than I planned, actually.  I thought I'd need three new chapters, but ended up writing five more.  I probably cut 20 thousand words, and added 10 thousand words.

But for now, this is the book.  I want to read it over the next four days, smooth out the rough edges and inconsistencies.

I like it.  I like it more than any book I've written.  I like it so much, I'm going to set it aside and come back later in a few months and give it another look.  And if need be, I'll do it again and again.

It's structured ambitiously, I think.  Flashback chapters that are inserted according to theme and mood, rather than logic. In fact, the whole book is about theme and mood.

I've now got so much backstory that it's probably hopelessly confusing.  It isn't confusing to me -- hey,  I came up with it.  It's perfectly clear to me.  But I wonder if the flashbacks are too much, and if they are too much out of order.

There is almost enough material to put the flashbacks in sequential order.  It's something to contemplate during the layoff period.  It would probably require more plotting, and it would lose some of the thematic structure I'm trying for -- the idea of memory and loss.  It might be more readable, but it would lose some depth, I think.

But I wonder if it's a book that I'm always going to like more than other people are going to like it.

It's perfect for the internet, in a sense.  That is, it will have to be found and those who find it and stick with it are the people who probably should find it and stick with it.

It's the most ambitious book I've written.  I mean, I've tried for drama and for tragedy and for comedy and a love story and a straight ahead myth/fantasy story, with archetypes.  I've tried to fancy up the language, even put in a fair amount of poetry.  I've made the structure all over the place and I just hope the feeling and the themes and the characters carry people through.

But I started off years ago with the feeling that I wanted to write the book I wanted to write and screw whether anyone would ever like it.  So...I guess I still feel that way, after starting the rewrite with the intention of making is more accessible.

I don't know.   Maybe I'm just being self indulgent.

It's a book I'll put out someday.  And expect no one to read.  And still feel proud of it.

LATER:  I read the first 2/3rds of the book last night, and it worked!!!  Even the sappy chapters I was worried about worked, because they were interspersed with flashbacks.  The flashbacks worked, as well.

I found very few inconsistencies, and what I found I was able to fix easily.  I suspect this will be more of a problem in the last third of the book as the story narrows to a conclusion.  But so far, so good.

The only real concern was that the flashbacks are moving steadily toward the beginning of the story, while the story moves to the end -- so it is a little like they cancel each other out.  So I'm not sure what it does to the momentum.

But it didn't bother me -- just the fact the I read 133 pages in once sitting with no problems -- even though I've been working on the rewrite for a couple of months, is a good sign.

I was amazed it flowed so well -- because as I was rewriting it, I was doing it in parts and selecting where to put the flashbacks by feeling, so I expected it to be a little disjointed.  But don't think that happened at all.

In fact, I'm wondering if another rewrite will even be necessary.  I'm in no hurry, so I'll tinker with it, give it another read in a few months, but basically -- as I said before -- this is the book I wanted.

I was worried about whether I was wasting my time doing this -- but the end result fully justifies it.  It was the typing that was hard -- and I'll never have to do that again, thank god.

So there it is.  Yet another book.  Damn.


Read the last third of the book and it all works.  Amazingly.

I had thought it would need much more work, but I'm not sure that's true.  I mean, I still set it aside just so I can come back to it with some perspective, but really, I think it's ready now.

Might need another party to copyedit, but other than that...

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