On (re) Writing a Novel

Upon Lynne’s request, I have started rewriting the novel (about half way through, to be more exact).  The first draft of Milk and Honey was written in third person narrative, which created a distance from the novel’s characters; this distance was problematic for a few reasons.

As many have pointed out, the novel’s main character, Luc Louis, is a rather unlikeable man.  Upon writing this, I am reminded that I had a dream last night about the man who inspired Luc’s character.  Even in the dream, it was evident that only a few were able to see the beauty of his character; hopefully the new draft will make it easier for people to embrace Luc, or at least care about him enough to keep reading.

Rewriting can be mind-numbing work.  At times, it feels as though I am simply changing the nouns from ‘he’ to ‘my son’, etc., etc.  Still, the changes have opened up the novel in a number of ways; first person narrative is allowing me to flesh out some of the themes that were, in the third person version of the novel, buried or hidden.

It is also fun to take on a more personal tone with the narrative.  I think many of you will recognize the voice of the first narrator (there will be a total of four, including that of a murder of crows)… there is an earthiness of tone and speech that the first draft only hinted at.  It is a channeling, of sorts; I get to try on a different skin every time I sit down at the computer.

I want this process to be as collaborative as possible.  I want to destroy, or at least challenge, the idea of the novel as a solitary work.  If you have some time this week, I would urge you to take a look at the draft of the revised first chapter, and let me know what you think of it.  If you want a point of previous reference, the events of the revised first chapter are recounted at the very end of the second chapter of the first draft.  As you will see, the revised draft will be both an expansion and a contraction.

Once again, I wanna thank you all for your support.  Thank you for coming to the fundraiser, thank you for becoming a fan of the page.  If you know of anyone else who is interested in such things, please pass on an invitation to them!  I will be working toward finishing the new draft by May 29th, and will be more regular with my updates… thanks again!

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