Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Killing Hamlet: More Thoughts On Revisions

A quick one: it occurred to me that with every novel I've written, at every stage of the writing process, my awareness of what writing a novel is and how it should be done has changed, often radically. This interests me. It also interests me to note that these changes of perception/opinion have not formed any sort of linear progression. It's more like a game of mental Twister than a path I am following.

It also interests me to notice that the more I write and revise, the less I think consciously about certain things, not only regarding process but regarding story, narrative structure, use of language, and all manner of things. So I keep changing how I think about writing, but I think less about how I think about writing all the time.

I note with some alarm that in some ways it's becoming more difficult for me to discuss craft issues, the better I am able to actually deal with those issues. Of which, huh.

I am also tired of all these repetitive posts about how I'm revising this book. Don't I do anything else? Don't I? Well?

Okay, Mighty Reader and I saw "Never Let Me Go" last night. I confess that I have not read the book, but I am assured that--as far as movies go--this was a pretty faithful version. There was a blatant Statement Of Theme in a scene tacked onto the story at the very end that was not in the book and, in my opinion, weakened the impact of the film and that's unfortunate. But still, it was one of those beautiful, well-acted and surprising movies that leaves you for hours afterwards with the impression that all of the air has been sucked out of the atmosphere and you'll never be happy again. Yay, indie films! I might actually read some of Ishiguro's books now; Mighty Reader has all of them, as it happens.


  1. Any day know, you will achieve literary enlightenment.

  2. One has strong doubts about that. Last night I added about 1500 words to the MS, and just as I was drifting off to sleep, I realized that one bit I added was entirely wrong. Before I left the house for work this morning, I wrote myself a note reminding myself to change that bit, and what should be there instead. It's madness, really. All of it. This MS has gotten, possibly, to the point where someone should just take it away from me so I'll stop revising.

  3. You have until tomorrow. After that, if you start revising again, I will throw pancakes at your head.

  4. Perhaps an ill-conceived threat on my part.

  5. You know what would really teach me a good lesson? Eggs Benedict and fresh coffee. Yeah, that'd show me.

  6. Weak tea and stale Cheerios it is...