Friday, November 02, 2007

In Which I Start All Over and Am Still Not Happy

My word count is fine. I'm still ahead of the game. However, I am not happy with what I've written. After seven very brief chapters of my first novel I stopped, dropped, and rolled into a different story. Guess what? I haven't even finished the first chapter and I already hate it. So tomorrow I'll finish the first chapter and if I don't feel happier with what I've written . . . you guessed it, start all over all over again. Today's stuttering start (and yes, I know that unbreachable is not a word . . . but I like it and it should be a word):

Jack Allen moved to the city after his father committed suicide. Not immediately after. He had stayed to help his mother and four sisters make the necessary arrangements. Nobody in the town wanted to talk about what had happened, the scandal was too delicate to discuss, and Jack couldn’t stay. He had no reason to stay.

“I know you’re leaving because you think if you stay you’ll end up like your father.”

“I can’t stay, mom.”

“I know.” She looked so small, curled into the corner of the couch. Jack wanted to say something that would make it easier for them both but there were no words. The suicide had built an unbreachable wall between all of them and words seemed too small to break through. And Jack was an artist, uncomfortable with words, unable to draw on his feelings to explain himself or why he was leaving. Standing over his mother made her seem even more fragile. She hadn’t looked at him for weeks, not since she tried to tell him about what his father had done. Jack had to close his own eyes to remember the color of hers.

“I love you, Jack.”

“I know.”

“Go find your happiness.”


  1. It's not my place but isn't the purpose to just write a novel, without analyzing it as you go?

    A first draft is just that, a first draft, not written in stone, not final, just done.


  2. Normally that is how it works for me. This is the first year I have been so discouraged so early in the game.