Thursday, June 30, 2005

Revision

It's time. I've finally started the excruciating task of not only recognizing the book's flaws but actually trying to fix them. Last night I tried to write a new first page. Painful. It's almost easier to write a first page when you don't know what is going to happen next than when you know everything that happens. It's too much retrospect. The vantage point shifts from a very limited one (full of promise and surprise) to a sort of terrible omniscience.

There's something I've been avoiding the whole time, and that is the fact that Harper needs to at least acknowledge the racial element of his crime. It's certainly not the impetus for what he does, but he also has to know that it would appear to be so to anyone else. It's completely inauthentic for him to pretend that he doesn't even consider the man's race. But it's a slippery slope. I have to tread lightly here...this is dangerous terrain for Harper, and for me as the author. I'm not sure this acknowledgment belongs on the first page, but then, last night, there it was. I feel rusty.

I am so worried that my writing is taking the back seat (the way back) to everything else (my editorial stuff, teaching, housework, etc...). I'm starting to feel resentful of all of my other obligations. We're going to be spending $10/hr. on a nanny so I can teach this fall, but I wouldn't dream of hiring someone to watch the girls so I could write. It's almost like writing has become the hobby I just don't have time for instead of my occupation. I fantasize about having a few hours to really focus on my work. I am hoping that being at the pond will give me what I need to finish. We leave in one month.

2 comments:

Lydiaparn said...

Reading your June posts and enjoying them. I miss your books and even though I have probably over a hundred unread books in my apartment, I want your new one! Michael Lee West's long-awaited book, MAD GIRLS IN LOVE, came out today. I've ordered it through Amazon because I don't have time to get to a bookstore after spending the past two weeks in the south visiting people I love (most importantly my son in Atlanta, but family and better than good friends in Florida). I came back with more books than I should have. What was I saying? Oh, reading about the fireflies and last night I saw the first ones I've seen all summer and loved them. So bright, even though they were across the street. Thank you for writing and sharing through your blog. I will be back.

T. Greenwood said...

Please do come back...hopefully the book will eventually be finished and published. Sort of like waiting for fireflies, no?