A brief post, today, as I’m running a little behind.
This morning, I got back to work on the outlines for The Dummy. I’ve now resigned myself to the fact that the outlines alone are not going to be a short project. I already have thirty single-spaced pages of notes and my central character (the eponymous dummy) is, at this stage, only eight years old. Given that the novel is intended to span his entire life — and that he lives to about eighty… well, the maths are scary. The outline itself will qualify as a “big book”! Three hundred single-spaced pages anyone?
There’s no doubt in my mind, now, that this will have to be a series of books.
The upside is that these are characters and situations I most definitely want to spend a long time with.
© 2008 Gary William Murning
Today I finally got round to admitting to myself that the outline for The Yesterday Tree isn’t firing me up as much as I would have hoped. I’ve tiptoed up to the edge of this a number of times over the past few weeks, but today — whilst it was developing quite nicely, with many elements that I like — I had to bite the bullet and accept that it just isn’t what I want to write. The truth is, it’s becoming rather too genre for my liking (there’s nothing wrong with genre fiction per se — I actually really enjoy good genre fiction — but I do find it extremely restricting as a writer.) There are certain themes and ideas I want to explore, and the plot was becoming far more dominant than I would have liked. I can’t see a way of fixing this without it becoming a different novel altogether and so it’s now officially on the backburner. I may return to it, but my past record suggests that I probably won’t.
It also didn’t help that I couldn’t quite see it as a follow-up to Children of the Resolution. I’m fairly sure that should Children be accepted I would face opposition to The Yesterday Tree. It’s just too different, and from a marketing perspective it could have quite possibly been a nonstarter.
It isn’t as depressing as it might sound, however. In fact, it’s a very common situation for me and actually quite liberating. I find ideas need to be thoroughly tested and in order to weed out the good ones a few must inevitably fail. I have something else up my sleeve — a couple of possible projects — but that’s where they’re staying for the moment!
Writing Advice for the Day: Always give a project a chance. Do not abandon a novel simply because you’re having a bad day. But do not be afraid of abandoning it if it continually leaves you feeling half-hearted and uninspired. You must feel passionate about the project. Without that it’s very likely to be a complete waste of time.
© 2008 Gary William Murning
Further to this Kafka post, I today heard from Kathi Diamant regarding her blog on the Kafka project’s Eastern European research. Kathi said:
thanks for mentioning me, my Dad, Dora, my book and my website! Here’s one more: I’ve been blogging the Kafka Project’s Eastern European research for a missing literary treasure this summer on the public broadcast station website in San Diego, KPBS.org. The adventure with pictures is all there, at the url: http://www.kpbs.org/kafkaproject or by going to KPBS, clicking Interactive, clicking Commentaries. Thanks for the good word.
I haven’t had time to give it a thorough reading, as yet, but it does look like an excellent blog. If you’re at all interested in Kafka, I’d urge you to take a look. Well worth it.