Where matters stand

I continue to make slow but careful progress on the current pass through of the draft of my novel The Sleep of Reason. I’m going through it now to slip in seasonal and weather references and to clean up any lingering plot and structural problems I had identified earlier. (Most of these I set in red typeface so I wouldn’t overlook them later.) I also happen to be spotting a lot of embarrassing typos. I’m more than a quarter of the way through, and while I don’t feel I need to race, I do hope to pick up the pace some. Of course that will mean that I’ll then face the task of rewriting the whole damned thing with a third-person narrator, but I’m in no rush to get to that point yet.

I mentioned in a different post that I intended to work next on a new Finnegans novel, one of the murderless mysteries I think there is a market for, and I even sheepishly confessed to having written the first draft of the first chapter of it (when I should have been exclusively focused on The Sleep of Reason). I continue to make notes for it, happily finding that there is more themtic depth to the story than my original plotting ideas had suggested. I’ve also begun some tentative research on the works of late 19th Century women writers on the frontier. I’ll need to reproduce that voice in parts of the novel I intend to write.

The much bigger surprise, however, is that I find myself “compelled” to write the novel I had intended to set aside for later, with the working title of Larger than Life. Unlike the Finnegans novel that is fully plotted, with well sketched out characters and themes, Larger than Life only looms vaguely before me. I haven’t “imagined” all of it yet, and I only have the dimmest sense of where the plot will go. Yet I’ve written a rough draft of one chapter and plotted another, having completed about a third of that writing work as well. I have the opening chapter all plotted (though for creative reasons, it will have to be the last one I write) and several others stewing in my feverish brain. Most of all, I have a thorough understanding of the trials and tribulations of the protagonist. So here I am working on a novel I didn’t intend to write for a couple of years. I’m not complaining. I’ll take whatever creative frenzies come my way, and maybe it’s a sign that my inscrutable creative self really wants to work on Larger than Life rather than Finnegans Deciphered. In any case, all of this does not seem to be affecting the ongoing work with The Sleep of Reason, so I don’t consider it inappropriate or intrusive.

Aside from all of that, I’ve also been fooling with some short stories lately, including one bit of flash fiction that I wrote, polished, and submitted all in one week. I don’t pretend to be a master in the field of flash fiction; I may be writing utter tripe, but my story seems coherent and complete, and I always feel a brief moment of satisfaction when I send off a story. (Brief because it is quickly followed by an enduring feeling of anxiety about the submission’s status.)

So I’ve been busy, which is always better than the alternative.

Explore posts in the same categories: Finnegans, Humble efforts, Larger than Life, Sleep of Reason

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