Monday, October 25, 2010

knife in the heart

At the Moke Hill novel workshop, Lucy and Toni convinced me of what Verna had noted last spring. I have two novels in House of Cuts, not one. For years I've been trying to weave these two stories together and even though I got it to work for me, it didn't for most readers, except darling sister Jacki. Goes to show the best critics may not be your family!

I guess this is the jarring time you hear about when you have to toss out that first awful novel and start the next one. So, I'm going through all 19 chapters and slicing out the parts that belong to a literary novel, Amy's Mother for lack of a better title for now.

Then rewriting House of Cuts as a suspense thriller with edges of wacky humor.

A couple lines from a Mary Mackey poem pop into my mind, not sure of the punctuation, sorry:

Out of the one, two
Out of the still point, the multitude

Yikes and double yikes!!!!! Sigh, sit in the chair, and just keep going. Driven by some kind of mystery.


  1. I am realizing that family are not our best critics unless you have someone in the family to give you the ruthless truth; everyone has one of them in the family. Mines would be my husband. The problem with reaching out to "that family member" is you may not respect their feedback because they are your family. I find it useful and needed that every writer join a writer's workshop club for feedback that will be benificial to us a writer. Professor keep it moving forward and write like no one wil ever read it. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  2. June, two novels joined is a thing with me as well. It has happened to me twice. I'm a hardheaded writer. I use too much side story, which leads to a big book. To avoid getting wrapped around the axle I write an outline my Jack Russell Terrier can follow and, I can keep the structure in my head.
    PS Thanks for the comment on my blog.

  3. Useful image of an outline a dog can follow, John, thanks *:)

  4. The Jack Russell Terrier part was directed at me.

  5. Wow! 19 chapters...How long has it taken you to write all this? I like how you have your family critique your writing. I've always relied on teachers as my family is lazy and not entirely well educated when it comes to reading college level material. Are there certain websites where students can get help with writing? I thought there were some textbook publishing companies that specialized in helping students edit papers?

  6. omniscientidiot--love your name! I started this in 2005! I was on what I hoped was about my fourth revsion, but see I must tear it all apart--knife in the heart time.

    There are some online tutoring sites, but they are more for essays than for creative writing. Best thing is to try to find or create your own face-to-face writing group, in my humble opinion.

    You could contact a few of the writers in the class whom you feel connected with and see if they would like to meet in a public place to talk over a writing support group.

    There are lots of helpful hints on forming and keeping up writing groups online. Just google around and you can find help.

    hang in *:)