The Things I’ve Learned
As you know I’ve been working and reworking on my second novel. Earlier this week I put together a complete first draft of Part 1 and was able to add a few pages in Part 2.
I’m already seeing a difference.
The protagonist is funny, clumsy and at the same time kind of unlikable. He’s clueless to the mess he’s created and has yet to learn to take responsibility.
He’s in his late 20’s, maybe 30 and is what we would call a man-child.
This guy is a challenge. He may be the biggest challenge of any character I have written. It’s as if he’s daring me to get it right. Sometimes I wonder if he wants me to wave the white flag and walk away.
Or maybe he wants me to try harder.
When I original wrote him I gave him a tragic story. His young son was killed in a convenience store robbery leaving him full of guilt, depression and suicidal.
It was a long brutal first draft leaving me and the reader sad and unfulfilled.
When I rewrote the outline this summer I came close. He started to make sense to me but as you know the plot sunk.
Now that I have a new plot things are beginning to make sense. I can see him. He is now in a world where he belongs and as a writer I am too.
Forgetting the Past
My biggest challenge was forgetting who he used to be. His voice, his look and his past were completely new. It’s easy to forget we can change these people and mold them into someone much better.
If only life could be that simple.
Now that the story is ticking I am having fun. I can see and feel the adventure. The pieces of the puzzle make sense.
I will always be amazed at how this works. The art of storytelling is full of tiny sprinkles and spice.
I am not much of a cook but I have a feeling a chef feels the same way.
As I write this first draft I am reminded by the words of a car mechanic I knew in my high-school days: “There’s a good car in there,” he use to say. “I just need to find it.”
Truer words ever spoken.
As I begin Part 2 I have to wonder – Is there a good book in there and if so will I find it?
Time is going to tell but one thing is certain: I’m finally having fun with this puzzle I am building.