What an absence! Over the past year I was so absorbed with editing my novel that everything else seemed to fall to the background. I lost track of my blog, left books half-read, or neglected entirely, and stopped writing in my journal. Mine was a one-track obsession that led to a complete rewrite of the start of my book and a consecutive stream of edits to improve the entire draft… and, from what I can tell, it paid off!
I started writing Aristeia – A Dance with Fate three years ago when I was still studying at Florida State University, and a lot has changed since then. At first it was natural to craft my writing style as a reflection of accomplished writers that I was reading at the time. Mimicking these authors was, in truth, a great start because it kept me writing. And because I was writing so consistently I was slowly beginning to understand my own unique voice – my own cadence. And it did finally come to me, very naturally, as if I had reached a word count so great that everything I was writing was spouting from my intellect alone. The prose had become a mellifluous rhythm that was entirely my own… However, once I discovered my manner of writing I had to go back and dissect the parts of the novel that weren’t “me” and it just so happened to be the entire first half of the book.
So I dissected it.
I hollowed out my first draft and filled it with my essence. I discovered my narrator in this process, which led to another comprehensive edit. And by discovering my narrator – realizing that his voice was not simply a third person omniscient/omnipotent one – I realized new characters and an entirely new dynamic to the story.
I rewrote and edited/re-edited 350 pages of my manuscript and can finally move on. This entire section of the book is simply the month of January 1942 (where the novel starts) and the book will end in June 1942 at the Battle of Midway, so there is still a long way to go, but the important thing is that I am well on my way! So at long last I am back and you will be hearing more from me.
Time for round two: February 1942
- Connor Wilkins