Protean beast

When I’m writing the first draft of most of the novels I’ve worked on, the manuscript becomes a woolly beast, barely in my control, and what’s more, barely recognizable.

With Finnegans Deciphered, which is what I’m working on primarily, I’ve already found that I must insert a new chapter into the already established narrative. It will have implications for the remainder I have written, so I’ll need to restructure a lot of that. All to the good, of course, but unsettling a bit nonetheless.

And with Larger than Life, my temporarily shelved novel-in-progress, I continue to have revelations about how this or that must be reworked, what needs to go in, what needs to be invented, what implications will ripple through the rest of the story. (All of this ferment is what convinces me that I will return to the work.)

They are changing their shape constantly, and I expect it will be a long time before I have them under surer control. Then, I hope, they will be more settled and stop suggesting revisions to me.

Proteus was, among other things, an oracle, but it would only reveal its prophecies to those who could capture it and prevent it from changing its form. And so it is that I’m hoping I can capture my Protean beasts and have them reveal their secrets to me finally. (Or does that stretch an image too thin?)

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Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Process

One Comment on “Protean beast”

  1. Pete Says:

    One season I decided to name my fantasy baseball team based on an anagram of my own name, so I went with Dense Proteans (which has my first name as “Pete”). Given that I go as Peter as my author name, if I ever title one of my books in a similar manner, it will be Denser Proteans – which I like even better than the team name.


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