Friday, February 13, 2015

A book owes a debt only to itself.

The parts are all in place.

Now I need to fall back in love with my book.

I want this book to exist as its own thing -- without regard to anything or anyone else.

When I write a first draft, I love what I'm doing.  If I don't love what I'd doing, the book doesn't get written.  So I love what I'm writing, I love the plot, the characters, the writing.

And then, the more I change things in rewrites, the more the rosy glow fades.

The assumption is that whatever made me love the story in the first place is still there, and all the changes are just making it more readable, more possible for the reader to love the book too.

Paradoxically, though, the more I work on it, the more I fall out of love with the book.  It becomes much more of an intellectual puzzle.  How can I make this scene snap? What does the character want to say that makes him or her unique?  Is this explanation necessary?  And so on.

With Faerylander, I've rewritten so many times that the original book is more or less gone, but what has replaced it is a better book.  I know this intellectually.  There are many parts of the book that still retain that rosy glow, but other parts have completely faded.

So over the next couple of weeks I want to infuse the story with that starry eyed feeling.  I want to soften the lenses to blur the rough edges of technique and feel the story.

I want to feel the book from beginning to end.

The only way I knew how to do this is to immerse myself into the story, day and night, without interruption.  Weirdly, a lot of time is spent just dithering, nibbling around the edges, sort of in the world but not actively engaged in it.  Making the whole thing come alive in my mind.

I can't worry about what other people are going to think.  The book is a world of its own and owes a debt only to itself. The book needs to be good, not my opinion of it -- or others, or worrying about sales, or any of that.  It needs to be inherently its own thing, of itself.

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