you can say that again

And I did.

Long time readers of this humble blog (both of you) will recall that I once wrote an entire novel (The Sleep of Reason) and got all the way to the end before I realized that a first person narrator was not going to work. So I rewrote the whole thing with a third person narrator. It was a better novel as a result (though I wish I’d get off my sorry backside and do more about sending it out).

So it has been with a short story I’ve recently written. It’s one of my Fathers and Sons stories (of course — what else am I working on lately?), and I originally wrote it with a third person narrator. I wanted to make the father in this story be absolutely clueless about an important characteristic his son is beginning to display. (It’s not a bad thing, so don’t worry. I just don’t have the guts to write about bad people. Or the experience, I guess. But I ramble.) Anyway, it occurred to me after I had that first draft written that by having the father be the narrator of the story, I could intensify his cluelessness by showing him as being observant and benign, or at least thinking he is, and by actually showing him missing some signs. And by setting the poor guy up this way, I would bring out his lack of observation skills.

I’m not there yet, but I think the approach is the right one. And the rewrite was painless. I got the new draft done in one session.

In other news, it may have escaped your attention, but it’s October now. I hope to be productive and proactive this month. What about you?

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4 Comments on “you can say that again”


  1. Always nice when a rewrite just moves like that. Do you plan to get moving on sending The Sleep of Reason around? I’ve been slacking on sending a completed novel around myself. It’s received a handful of, “Loved this, but…too quirky for me,” rejections, and I feel it’s run its course. But…there are at least a couple more places I should try before considering the e-book route with the book.

    October…yes. When I lived up north, it was my favorite month. In Texas, I have to wait until late November for my favorite time. Once September rolled around, I moved on a novel I’ve let sit while working on other things. I’ve been back at that, even tinkering with it during a period of heavy overtime at my day job. My October plan is to continue that momentum.

    Hope October’s a good and productive month for you, Paul!

  2. LauraMaylene Says:

    For me, October means a week-long writing residency. I have some incredibly high hopes about my productivity for that week. Wish me luck…

  3. macdougalstreetbaby Says:

    I love that title. The Sleep of Reason.
    Ugh. Don’t want to think about October. 4 Kids = 4 Halloween Costumes. Did I say, “Ugh?” Well, okay. Then, feh.

  4. Teri Says:

    I’m not going to a writing residence, but like Laura I have high hopes for productivity. I’m in the rewriting phase, so no word count goals. My goal is to make this damned thing make some sense. And I admit, I’m a bit scared of what that means.


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