Friday, March 26, 2010

Emerging from the Shadows

Writing a novel is like many art forms in that a novel is the product of a many layered process. There's the early demo stage of writing and then the rough first draft. At that point, I find the page contains only a glimmer of the story I want to tell. My focus is the character, the mood, the ideas. Through the second draft, I refine those aspects into a story with a solid core. The manuscript then becomes a skeleton that needs to be fully realized and dressed.

For me, the next stage is the truly great part of creating a novel. Once the foundation is sound, it's clear to see what is missing, what episodes will fill out the novel, what relationships need strengthened...and of course, which scenes are pointless to what I'm trying to achieve.

As I'm going through my new manuscript, adding these scenes and revising the ones that are there, a feeling of excitement seems to grow by the page. It's like nearing the end of a jigsaw puzzle and knowing, at last, that all the work and frustration looks as if it will pay off.

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