I am moving along faster than I expected on my work on the second draft of my post-apocalyptic novel. I am now almost two-thirds of the way through this revision, which has been full of cutting, changing, revising, and writing new chapters. I am excited, though, about the movement of the story.
I believe that I have the through line of the narrative established, at least in my mind, if not yet fully developed on paper. I hope that I am using a logical sequence of events, working primarily on the classical paradigm of story-telling, with exposition, character development, many complications, climax and resolution. I keep thinking of the Mark Twain quotation, “Put your characters up a tree, and throw stones at them.” I believe this has been used by many writers, but the earliest attribution I have heard was from Twain.
It sounds so basic when I say it like that. Of course, it is definitely neither easy nor is it simple. I have been struggling with trying to make sure that I am showing the characters as I see them, so that the readers will also be able to form an image of them, at least resembling what I intend them to be.
I also want to be sure that the characters, none of them, are one-dimensional. I am trying to create fully realized, well-rounded characters with depth and true emotional quality, although I suppose I will only know if I have succeeded when others read it and give feedback to me. I hope to have a few people read it when I complete this draft later this year.
If I continue my present rate of revision, I might have this draft complete towards the end of November. If so, I will give it to readers then and move on to another project, probably the academic book on an Irish playwright. More on that to come later.