[personal profile] dragonlady7
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I spent the drive across the state ruminating on one of my original novels. I have a few Enormous Old Hulks of abandoned works, and this one is probably the biggest of all of them. I began it in 2003 or so, when I’d graduated with my BA, and had a couple of half-completed novels under my belt, and was fixin’ to get serious about writing. I worked on it really earnestly after having been fired from my first Real Job, sure that this was going to be my big break, but the more I worked on it, in total isolation, with no beta readers or community really giving me advice or anything, the longer it got but the farther away it got from being finished. 

Anyway, I’ve rewritten it from scrap a bunch of times, and there is A Lot of it. A few things stayed consistent from draft to draft, but not many. The dates of the major rewrites are sometimes hard to pin down, but some are enshrined in file names– 03, 05, 08, 09. The most recent rewrite of it looks to be ‘10. 

There’s got to be close to a million words in all those drafts.

Anyway, I just had a thought, of making the main heroine transgender, but I don’t know enough about that issue– I already transformed her from being a virgin from a repressive society, to being a courtesan from a decadent society. Making her a trans sex worker changes the novel even more, but I’d definitely have to find someone knowledgeable to consult. Especially since it’s a fantasy novel and part of the plot is that she gives birth, so I’d have to then involve magic, and I don’t know if it would be icky to have #1 a trans sex worker who #2 gets a magic uterus by #3 the power of love and also a weird god thing so that she can #4 make a magical baby. (The magical baby has been in there since draft #1! Astonishingly consistent. Though I feel like this would make him A Lot More Magical. And also way more astonishing to literally everybody.)

I mean, anything can be done and can be made not icky, it’s just, that would be a shitload of work. But if it’s not worth doing work for, why have it?? 

I just– I dunno, obviously something’s missing from the story if I haven’t been able to make it work in close to 15 years now. Could that be it? Could it just have been that I didn’t know what I was doing all along? 

It’s not that I regret all the time and attention I’ve lavished on this fucking thing– I mostly taught myself to write with it. In 2003 I couldn’t be consistent about POV, and then in 2004 I threw the novel away and rewrote it entirely in 1st person so that I could eliminate intrusive alternate POVs, and throw that away so I could rewrite it in 3rd person again. 

It’s an epic fantasy, and you don’t tell those in 1st person, and besides which people love to crawl out of the woodwork to tell you that 1st person is the devil, but I knew all along I wasn’t going to keep it in 1st person.

OK I’m in the yurt and there’s a fireworks show going on somewhere. Who does fireworks for Bastille Day?? Or whatever it is now?? I’m?? It sounds like they’re coming from the north. What’s even north of here?? Schagticoke? Raymertown? Spiegletown? None of those place is big enough to have fireworks for 20 solid minutes. WTF.

Anyhow. It’s progress, that I was able to make myself think about the whole concept of the novel of doom and not be grossed-out by it. It’s hopeful. I go years without being able to think about it because I’ve poured too much of myself into it and need some space. 

Christ, they’re still fireworking, out there. wtf. it’s been like half an hour or more.
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