Monday, July 27, 2009

Fiction Mondays: Let the Revisions Begin

I waited two weeks, and then started revising my novel. I'm only about thirty pages into the revision at this point, but I'm glad to see I still like it, and I still want to see where this characters might go. I haven't found any major problems so far, but it's early. The opening pages are covered in red ink, but these are things that didn't sound right, or didn't sound like the characters I got to know so well. Or they were just typos. There's not much to report, but expect updates on the revision process as I go along. I'm also going to need to recruit some readers for future drafts, so if you would like to volunteer, leave a comment or e-mail me at:

john.shortino(at)gmail(dot)com

In other reading news, I want to recommend Jayne Anne Phillips' Lark and Termite to everyone reading. It's really interesting, and uses structure and time really well--it takes place over the same few days, set nine years apart. In the earlier days, Corporal Robert Leavitt gets caught up in violence in the opening days of the Korean War, while the parallel story, nine years later, is about his son and step-daughter, living with their aunt in West Virginia. Leavitt's son, Termite, is disabled, unable to really see (except colors) and to move his arms. There's this great interplay between what time means to Leavitt, stuck in a tunnel and trying to get in touch with leadership, and Termite, who doesn't seem to have any grasp of time. He reminds me, somewhat, of Benjy Compson in The Sound and the Fury, in his descriptions: they all run together as a commentary of the colors and sounds that surround him, and we get a sense of the story unfolding that he does not understand.

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