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Novel on the Brain


The novel I’ve written is starting to bug me. Not in a bad way. I can’t stop thinking about it the past few days.

I find myself wondering if it’s finished. Or if I should, possibly, gut the thing in a horrible way–that might leave it limping or totally brilliant. Then, I wonder if it’s already brilliant. If I make any changes, I could mar what I’ve already made.

Thinking about this, tonight, I realize that I know the answer. I thought that there were two possibilities. The first is that I need to rip the novel apart like a hellhound on a Winchester. The second is that I feel like I need to write something, so I’m going back to the most recent novel. I’m leaning toward the second possibility, but I’m not ruling out the first.

The novel in question is tentatively titled Devil in the Details. I shopped it around to a few agents. Then life throw a few boulders on my path, and I haven’t had time to do the proper research to send it out to more agents. It’s collecting book-dust. And I’m starting to feel antsy. (So, obviously, tomorrow night is Agent Research Time.) That damned novel has been through so many versions and revisions. I have excised whole chapters, rewritten characters, and made one seemingly annoying ex-boyfriend into a flippin’ loon (fictionally speaking, of course. Really. I swear).

I had the inspriation for it while I was sitting in church on Christmas Eve. I probably should’ve been struck by lightning. I wasn’t. The irony is not lost on me, since the premise is not exactly God-friendly. But whatever inspires, inspires. Such is the way of things.

But back to the point. Or one of them. I haven’t written much lately. There have been a few poems, a couple of short stories, and a short story that turned out to be the beginning of a novel I haven’t written yet. I have two other novel ideas as well — one of which started out as a serialized short story, but then decided that won’t do. Funny how that works.

What it boils down to is that I need to pick an idea and give it a go. There’s no use floundering about waiting for the *perfect* idea to spring into my head. Or out of it.

Tomorrow, I’m dragging out my purple notebook. And pen.

Let’s begin something, shall we?

Categories: Writing
  1. January 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    It’s tough to step away from a novel and often just hard to get back to it. Nagging doubt about what is right with your work, or what should be changed before submission create a kind of limbo. Time seems to pass quickly when you have a novel in the drawer. Best of luck with the purple notebook.

    All the Best in 2011 my friend,


    • Ali
      January 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      You’re right–it is tough. But it’s all part of the game, I guess.

      Thanks for the luck and the well wishes. I hope your year has started off well, too. 🙂

  2. January 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I find that I often get great new ideas in church. Much as I’d like to credit divine influence, ha, I think a large part of it is that sometimes we just need to be quiet and listen, and that listening actually allows us to hear ourselves think better. 🙂

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