I'm having a strange personal reaction to Sometimes a Dragon.
On one hand, I can't seem to get fully engaged in it. I can't seem to commit to really getting it done.
On the other hand, I play around with it a lot, I think about it even more. I'm willing to expend lots of time just trying to imagine what it could be. I'm feeling it, more than actualizing it --
Most of the time, I just want to finish a book once I start writing. I don't like dabbling afterwords. Do what's necessary, but no more.
With Sometimes a Dragon, I feel like I can dip into at any time, on any page, and find something to do with it.
Right now, I'm just trying to get the framework of the novel in digital form so I can work on it. Rewriting as I go along.
As I mentioned before, I have a tendency to think I'll just go back and "fix" things later. Problem is -- I'm not smarter or talented "later." I'm the same guy. Sure, I might be able to gain some perspective, I might be willing to make deeper changes because I'm not so enamored by my words -- but still...there is no magic pill that makes my writing suddenly better.
So the idea of just "playing" with a book is kind of new to me.
I think I believe, somehow, without much evidence, that this book has the capacity to carry more freight than the average story, more depth, more themes and symbolism and more of my subconscious-- than any other book I've written. But that it will have to be done incrementally, little bits here and there. Like touching up a painting.
Which, like I said, is completely different than my current form of working which is to immerse myself completely in a book and write it fast.
The original Sometimes a Dragon was a rebellion against the idea that I had to write a "commercial" book -- which is pretty crazy if you want to get published. But that's what I wanted to do. Write the book the way I wanted.
Somehow, this book, though much more readable in the form I've put it in this time, is also still a vehicle for doing things the way I want. There's something there, and I'm going to get at it.
My own guesstimate is that it's twice as readable as before, and about halfway to being good.
6 days ago