Sunday, December 27, 2009
WHAT TO DO?
Britanny Murphy reading.
Megan was here for four days over which time we had a chance to talk about the novel I have been trying to write. What she told me was that I have written a fictional memoir-and although the writing is lovely, it is too long and drifts too far from a crime novel to sell it as such. It is a literary novel with a crime in it. If it were actually my life story, I might sell it. But she is doubtful I can sell it as a piece of fiction.
So she advised me to 1) put it all in the first person from the POV of the daughter. 2) Get rid of most of the back story 3) Tell the story like Henry Hill did in Goodfellows 4) Center a lot more on the central crime and its aftermath. Stretch that day into half the book. 5)Make it half the length-maybe 180 pages.
This means excising scenes I love though-I have a whole chapter, for instance, on a woman cleaning a hotel room while her lover waits for her in the guest bed. Another scene of her destroying a house, room by room. This character loses her voice now and it would be difficult to work even a page or two in.
Will I do it? I don't know. My temptation is to forget about it and return to short stories, maybe salvaging a few chapters as short stories. Maybe I am a short story writer and shouldn't fight it. Except my short stories don't fit into many of the current zines very well. Which was why I turned to trying a novel. Make that two novels.
Oh, my. I am depressed.