Afoot read through finished

I finished the first-draft read through of Finnegan’s Afoot this morning. Despite all of the inevitable parings and prunings, I managed to add more than three thousand words to the total, bringing it within the range I understand is acceptable for a novel. (It currently stands at 62,979 words.)

The story is told. There really isn’t anything more to add to it other than fluff. I could get a bit more descriptive about some of the minor characters I suppose. If I were going to make any substantive additions to it, though, I’d probably need another subplot. I don’t really see a need for that, at least not for the sole purpose of increasing the word count.

As I noted before, the resolution at the end of this novel is more implied than stated. It is obvious that the bad guys will be caught and punished and justice will be served. It’s just not put into words. This might be risky. I’d like to give a reader credit for understanding the intent of the story, but I suspect that conventional wisdom will call for a more conventional ending.

I stated in an earlier post that in the Finnegan novels, nothing is narrated unless it takes place with at least one of my two main characters present or unless it is told to one of them. This means I don’t get into the mind of other characters (other than what I can relate in their dialog and actions) and I don’t show scenes and actions that take place away from my characters. (I give my reasons for this approach here.)

What happens to Ann Finnegan at the end of this story pretty much precludes any continued narration. The telling needs to end with her final words. (No, she doesn’t die.) She’s just not in a position at that time to cause a more conventional ending to happen.

It’s all there by implication; I think spelling it out in a sort of coda chapter would be redundant and clumsy.

Anyway, it’s time to let the pot stew for a while. I’m still working on a short story that happens to be set in the same place as Finnegans Afoot (but with none of the same characters). It’s one of those impossible crime crimes, and I think it’s clever enough to be worth all of the trouble I’m giving it.

Then it will be on to the long-anticipated Sleep of Reason. It’s not a Finnegans novel. It will be a real change of pace for me in subject matter and writing style.

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