So, for the first time in my history of writing, I honestly don’t think I have a protagonist, and if I do it’s a tough call which one of my “main” characters it would be. The novel has a sort of staccato rhythm as it jumps back and forth between one character and the next, and amazingly enough I like the pacing and the lack of a solid “lead” character. In fact, I liken it to movie with an ensemble cast where everyone keeps up their end of the action. As I go back through the novel one more time for this final edit (the word “final” being relative, knowing me), I’m fascinated by the interconnections.
Now, of course, by fascinated I mean it’s a complex dynamic between characters in a very tight timeline. While I was initially writing it I moved through the complexity pretty quickly, but looking back on it it’s another one of those pieces that just seemed to write itself. Those are my favorites by far.
Well, I’m no closer to coming up with a title, but I’ve made a decision on that. Unless one just comes to me in an epiphany, while I’m editing I’m going to leave it to the side. That of course also affects the cover art, but I’ll deal with that as we get closer to the end of the month. Ideally I would like for my title to come from a pithy line in the novel itself. Those are probably my favorite titles, the ones that remind the reader when they get to it why the book was named thusly. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but inspiration could of course strike at any time. The second I know the title, you will know the title. That’s a promise.
One of my primary focuses as I delve deeper into this edit is the dialogue component. I remember with the first longer piece I ever wrote having little to no dialogue because I have honestly always struggled with dialogue. It’s easy for me to get inside my character’s heads, but opening their mouths to let those thoughts out, I have always been reticent to do that. But my wife helped me in that regard, being my best and harshest critic, forcing me to dig deep to get those thoughts out. In fact, I did some serious dialogue exercises that were aside from the book itself, writing whole scenes that never appear in the book between some characters who are there and others who never make an appearance. And it was successful because later, when writing dialogue for the actual book, it came more naturally.
As promised, here’s a partial soundtrack of songs that have kept me going in constant rotation during the editing process:
1. Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey
2. Hate It or Love It – 50 Cent
3. Hunter – Bjork
4. Hold Me – Savage Garden
5. Rock ‘n Roll – Avril Lavigne
6. Hot Mess – Cobra Starship
7. Everlong – Foo Fighters
8. A Horsedreamer’s Blues – Counting Crows
9. Black – Sarah McLachlan
10. Bleed Like Me – Garbage
Back to editing! Wish me luck.