Sunday, July 10, 2011

Really, the truest definition of a novel

In case you have somehow missed my weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on the subject, I am finishing up revisions for The Sword Between. And the process has been this sort of exhausting emotional whiplash, penduluming between, "Hey, that's pretty good." and "Oh, dear God, I wrote what?!"

At the same time, I have been getting the opening of the next book into some sort of organized shape, which has triggered an emotional roller coaster of similar patterns: "I love this story! I love these characters! This is so much fun to write!" and then five minutes later "Oh, Kat, why did you ever think this was a good idea? What a cliché! How very overdone, and oh, look, you've managed to make necromancy boring. Good show indeed!"

I usually read something not mine as a mental palate cleanser between the two projects - I don't want the voice from one to contaminate the other, and I need to reboot my brain. Today, I picked up the Tenth Anniversary Edition of American Gods, and read this bit in Neil's Introduction:

"I finished it, eventually, and I handed it in, taking a certain amount of comfort in the old saying that a novel can best be defined as a long piece of prose with something wrong with it, and I was fairly sure that I'd written one of those."

I feel much better.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. I'm in the middle of writing something right now (wading into a new novel, having scrapped the old one). I've said those exact things, except replacing "Kat" with "Ali."

    It's nice to know I'm not the only one vacillating between, "This is awesome!" and "Oh, crap. Dear God, what have I written?!"

    Good luck with the new novel and its emotional roller coaster effect.