The Sleep of Reason

I’ve finally admitted to myself that the short story/novella I’ve been working on called “The Sleep of Reason” is actually a novel. I spent a couple of hours yesterday writing a simple passage that gets the protagonist down to breakfast, and as brutally trimmed as it was, it came out to more than 800 words. That’s fine for its purpose, which is to show that the protagonist is essentially alone and not in the companionable relationship with his old friend that he thought he was, but it shows how long the tale will become, and that presents a problem.

I am supposed to be working on another novel right now: Finnegans Afoot. I’d say I’m about two thirds of the way completed with the first draft of that novel. It’s time to build to the climax, and that deserves my attention. Yet I keep finding myself pulled toward the other story, and now that I recognize it as a novel, I need to give it better attention. (Yes, I had been giving it appropriate attention as a short story — I think that’s why it blossomed into the novel-in-waiting that it now is.)

What to do? I guess to begin with, I can start citing The Sleep of Reason in italics rather than quotation marks. Can I do justice to either story, though, if I’m working on two at once? Fortunately, they are quite different in tone and voice, and I know that many writers have more than one project in the works at the same time. I guess I’ll just find out how well I can do that.

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One Comment on “The Sleep of Reason

  1. Rick Says:

    Sounds like you’re falling for the “other woman”! It’s when the lure of something new catches your attention at a hard and difficult juncture of the previous object of your attention. Quick, write down the last part of the first woman’s allure before you forget what it was. You can always go back and smooth things out.

    Write on!


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