Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New novel

I began a new novel yesterday. Should you care?

Probably not. Most people, I've found out over decades of talking to them, have a mistaken idea of how most writers operate. The thing most writers don't do is set out a great plan for a novel, writer character sketches, and then compose the book from page 1 to page 400. It almost never happens that way.

For me, it's a matter of lunges and repairs, of try-outs and rejections. I write hundreds, thousands of pages for every one published. It is a long, slow, arduous job, and any time I start a new novel there is a near-certainty that I'll never finish it, or if I do finish a draft, I'll never get it in shape to publish.

I very much want my readers to care for the finished product. But a writer asking his readers to care for the endless journey from first words to THE END is folly. I have a sense that I might finish this book, but no more than that. Lately I have been heavily invested in writing poetry, and believe me, "invested" is a funny word to use with poetry. Almost nobody ever makes a penny off poetry, but we go on writing and reading it nonetheless.

So, I started a novel. It's only a first step. And I may be lost by the weekend. But I'd rather be on that delicious journey than doing almost anything else I know.

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