pencil work

I’m at the “pencil work” stage of  my progress with Finnegans Deciphered. I’m picking my way through it, adding this little revelation here, pumping up that bit of dialogue there. Fixing mistakes. I found a missing question mark at one point, for example.

In the story my protagonist, Greg Finnegan, is reading a novel and fearing that there is some subtext to it that he is missing. Resolving that is the whole point of the story, but its real-world analog has me bothered. I feel as though I am marking time, waiting for some subtext about my story to come to me. I fear that the novel is dancing over something deeper that hasn’t yet revealed itself to me. If I keep at it, this thinking goes, the epiphany will come.

Thus the pencil work. The fine tuning. I keep tinkering with it, hoping that something I’ve overlooked will become clear. Does this ever happen to you?

And so I’m in pursuit of a prey that may not be out there. Eventually, I suppose, if I don’t make this vague discovery, I’ll decide that the novel is whole and complete as it is and begin the gargantuan task of preparing it to be shopped around.

I haven’t dared let myself do a word count. I’ve told the story I have to tell (except for the fretting above), and I hope it comes in at the minimum a novel “requires.” But if it didn’t, what would I do? I suppose I could bring in some superfluous subplot. Some red herring, say. (The story fits vaguely into the cozy mystery genre.) Or I could give more background to some of the characters. Or something. But all of that seems contrived and unnecessary.

Well, we do what we can do.

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One Comment on “pencil work”

  1. Annam Says:

    I think a lot of what you put into a novel is on a subconscious level, not really manifest to you. And what’s most remarkable is when other people point out those meanings that you most likely intended, but just were not aware of.


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