Friday, November 02, 2007

digression, qualms about SDN

Ok, yesterday I attended a really interesting lecture by Steven Millhauser (why must there be 2 legitimate ways of spelling Steven/Stephen? One is sure to get it wrong. What are other names like that? The only other one I can think of now is Eric/Erik.), which reminded me of a story idea I had in a hypnogogic/hypnopompic state (I always get those confused as well), and also made me think I had to really re-evaluate the terms of my novel or its overall aesthetics or something.

So at the reception I got to talk to him about this and explain my idea, and his advice was very helpful, as were the suggestions of others in the conversation... so I now have a few books to possibly look at. I think the most important things might be:

a) keeping the momentum of the story, the continual narrative thrust that the SDC creates (it does give it a pretty specific structure, fortunately, with a ramping-up of stakes, a beginning and end, etc.)

b) making the digressions seem ultimately "relevant," ultimately seeming to cohere, as opposed to just "now let me go off on a tangent."

Been thinking about the BM character and what he might be. I feel like he's not an only child, but can't decide what the sister (because it would be a younger sister) ought to be like.

Though I was feeling sick I still ended up writing like 1500 words yesterday. I think I'm in the mid-8000s, which is like 25 doublespaced MS word pages or so. A bunch of that is the brainstorming/overall gist of where I want things to go rather than specific portions that would end up in the novel itself. But it's all good.

Oh, another thing I'm worried about is... it's going to start off small and pastoral and end up big and crazy. And I guess I'm afraid that the tone would morph too much throughout the novel. Not that that's a bad thing per se, but like, I'm afraid that the readers who would be into the later parts of the book might not be into the earlier parts, and vice versa, or at least that the terms would have changed. Hm. I think maybe I can keep the H and M story as a tone-and-content-consistent thing throughout? I dunno. I just feel like the people who will be into alien fashion protocol and transhumanist intrigues might not be the same people who are also interested in, say, the Tuffy story or the uh, more normal domestic fiction. And vice versa.

But I could argue that that's the idea, that many tones/genres/forms can all be interconnected, blah blah blah. There's a problem with that, though. You CAN argue in favor of all sorts of shit on a theoretical-aesthetic level, but that's pretty meaningless if it's not a solid work of art, which coheres intuitively to the reader.

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