A Date with Novel #1

After reaching a stalemate with the second novel in The Carrick Letters (why are events so hard to orchestrate sometimes?), I’ve decided to spend some quality time with the first novel in the series. The good news: I still am happy with what I currently have. This is momentous since it’s been about three years since there was any sort of overhaul.

But, as usual, the itch has returned and I’m back to some tinkering. Nothing major and nothing plot-changing, but refining the techniques I used has become irresistible.

As I’ve mentioned before, the novel is comprised of letters from the narrator of the first novel to the protagonist of the second. What I like about it is how it allows for emotional snapshots. The narrator, Shaelynn, may write fondly of another character in one letter but then utterly despise that same character a few letters later. Or see only the bad in a situation one time but realize the good that has come out of it the next. And this is what I’m tinkering with. Making the most of these emotional snapshots and the letter technique in general.

Of course, I always laugh at myself and wonder why I can’t just leave the novel alone for once. Why do I have the urge to make changes, even if its just to commas, every single time I open the document? Perhaps that is just part of what it is to be a writer. It’s my baby, and I want to make sure it’s the best it can be. After all, it’s a little piece of me.

How have your writing endeavors going? Are you able to leave your stories alone after you think they’re done?

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5 responses to “A Date with Novel #1

  • Anthony Lee Collins

    The only cure I’ve found for that fiddling is publication. :-)

    But I think it’s one thing to finish a standalone novel — but when it’s one of a series, the first of a series at that, then I’m not surprised it doesn’t feel “done” yet.

    I’m very interested in how you describe your novels — it reminds me somewhat of The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell, where the second novel was basically a long letter to the narrator of the first book, from a secondary character, telling him all the things he hadn’t known and had misunderstood about what had happened to him.

    As for me, I’ve laid aside one project, as I talked about on my blog, and I’m now writing scenes for a new story. I’m quite enjoying how it’s developing.

    • S.B. Roberts

      Well, I guess I’d better finish this round and get cracking on the publishing. :)

      What you said about writing series does seem true from my experience so far. A short story I’ve been working on (even though it’s not in my target genre–guess that’s what happens when you write just because you feel the story needs told) is standalone, and after three or four revisions, I feel very happy with it.

      I’ve never read the Alexandria Quartet, but it sounds akin to how this story needed told.

      I’m excited to hear about the new story! It’s been a busy week at school (so much grading!), so I’m looking forward to catching up on the blogosphere this evening. :)

  • C.B. Wentworth

    After sending my novel to an editor, the need to go back and fix things is gone. It’s very liberating!

  • The Annual NaNoWriMo Quandary | The Everyday Epic

    […] the other hand, Novel #1 and I have been getting along well and making some great progress in this latest review. The story is the same, but changing some things about one of my techniques has opened up some […]

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