Some of my posts from the last couple of months may have made clear that I was feeling kind of frustrated and burned out on my novel. A week's vacation from writing certainly helped my mood, but even better for my motivation levels is that I've moved on to revising the next storyline.
To review, for those not intimately familiar with my manuscript: THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE is about three generations of a family. The book has three first-person narrators, one from each generation, and the chapters alternate between points of view. The slightly tricky bit is that the narrators aren't following the same plot: each narrator is relating the events of his life as a young man, so there are three plots spaced about thirty years apart, all involving the same family.
I wrote the first draft in the order that the chapters appear, and when I rewrote the novel from scratch, I did the same thing. For my current (big, big) revision, I'm doing one storyline at a time to fully focus on creating a consistent character voice and plot. For a variety of reasons, I started with the storyline that occurs last chronologically. I finally reached the end of that story, and it's a thousand times better than it was in the last draft.
And now I get to move on. A new narrator! A new time period! New characters, or at least, the same characters much younger than in the storyline I just finished! It's almost like starting a new novel, with all the excitement and energy that goes along with that. It's been a huge relief.
Let's hope my enthusiasm lasts and that posting is more optimistic around here for a while.
Good Stuff Out There:
→ Robin Black at Beyond the Margins compares revision to home renovation: "The thing that trips me up time and time again, is not a resistance to cutting beloved aspects when they aren't serving a story well. I'm pretty good with that. What more often gets me is a complete failure to recognize that doing so is even an option."