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On Novel Writing

21 February 2012 Add a Comment Posted by Matthew Kressel

So I’m nearly halfway done with a novel revision.  And I find that I’m changing quite a bit from the first draft.  It’s more than polishing.  It’s making the thing flow.  It’s fleshing out characters and making sure they are not caricatures.  I’m adding words, somehow, even though I feel like I’m cutting a lot of stuff.  I’ve added 9K words already, and I’m only halfway through.  It’s up to about 119K and growing.  It’s a fantasy novel.  Based on a Jewish myth, so hopefully non-traditional, even though it’s epic.  And it’s a slow build.  Fast start, then a lot of mystery until act two, when things start ramping up big time.  The denouement is particularly fun.  I get to release the mouse trap and reveal several surprises.  It’s set up for a sequel, not necessarily because I want to do the trilogy thing, but because the story is rich and there’s so much to tell.  The frustrating part is poking at two or three pages per day, the slow crawl toward the finish line.  But slow and steady wins the race.  Plus I’m going away on a writers’ retreat soon, where my goal is to knock out 50 pages.  Probably impossible, but then a decade ago it seemed impossible to sell a story and now I’ve sold a few dozen.  So I’m just putting my sights on the end goal and walking there three pages at a time.

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