Structural Changes

Posted: October 5, 2008 in Ink & Feather
Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday, I heard back from the publisher. They liked my writing style, but had some problems with the structure of the novel – most of which, it was oddly gratifying to realise, I already agreed with. They did say, however, that they’d be interested in seeing the manuscript again once/if I made some changes, which I’m¬†genuinely inclined to do.

My guess is, it’ll take me one or two months to fix¬†everything up. Originally, I started writing the novel because I’d been watching a lot of Buffy and was bored at work, and later on, I had some crazy idea about crafting a story which took place almost entirely in dead time. The end product was a mixture of those two drives, to such a degree that the actual plot¬†eventuated as a kind of retrospective: I know where I’m headed now, of course, having long since sat down and thought about it, but the opening in particular is slow. I take a long time to get to the point, and almost everything of relevance happens in the last forty pages.¬†The new version¬†will start earlier on, faster, but with a longer lead-up to meeting the other characters. A few criticisms I disagreed with, too, but those aspects were, I believe, poorly exacerbated¬†by the more structural failings¬†rather than being¬†bad narrative choices in their own right.

All in all, it was extremely¬†productive to have my own negative suspicions confirmed – much more so, really, than to hear that my writing was good. It means my instinct for¬†weakness was correct. Prevously, I’ve held off making such major structrual alterations on the grounds that I was just being fussy, no matter¬†my qualms about this aspect or that, especially given that my first, never-to-be-published novel went through so many iterations. This time,¬†however, I feel invigorated by the prospect, and once¬†my essay is out of the way, I’ll set to with a will.

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