A Certain Lack of Focus

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thesis Preoccupation

So far I'm about 80 pages into my novel, which I'm writing for my MFA Thesis. I've been making pretty quick progress but it's been stalled since I got back from DC. I'm not all that worried, but the fact that I'm not worried worries me (isn't circular thought wonderful?).typingThe story is about seven years in the making. I won't tell you what exactly it's about because I wouldn't like to ruin the surprise. When someone asked yesterday I told her it was about faeries, adolescence or humanity depending on how deep you read. I realize that's vague so I'll try to give a description as though you were reading the back of a book:

"Gale has been obsessed with humans ever since she first met Breeze. The two girls are the closest friends imaginable, but Breeze's mother is beginning to feel threatened by their relationship. She senses that something is strange about Gale, that there is some secret surrounding her family, but even her darkest suspicions don't touch at the truth. Gale doesn't really live in the broken down house she pointed out when pressed, and that confused looking woman at the door isn't her mother. Gale lives behind the school, deep in the woods, her bed tucked in the trees. Her fathers are brutal satyr like creatures, stupid and cruel. Her mothers are dark angels, cold and vicious. Her sister is an imp. Her brother is a puck. Gale is a faerie.faerieAs Gale and Breeze prepare to leave their childhood it becomes more and more difficult for Gale to hide her nature. Breeze's mother does everything within her power to protect her child, and break up what she sees as an unhealthy relationship. Gale meanwhile is forced to contend with a home that is less enchanted and more dangerous everyday. When Gale finds out Breeze is to be shipped of to boarding school the prospect of being alone with her family seems unbearable, so with the help of a capricious brother, Gale sets out to free herself or make peace in her otherworldly family once and for all."

handOk I realize that's super cheesy but it's the best I can do without giving too much away. My BFA thesis was 5 drawings from the same story and I've only now felt that I was ready to start writing it down. It's been forming for a while. This will be the first of four books, called "Lost Child of Summer." The other three books will be "Lost Child of Fall," "Lost Child of Winter," and "Lost Children of Spring," with the main characters shifting from Gale (summer) to Breeze (fall) to Gale's brother (winter) to all three.

shadowWriting this so far has been odd. Although I've written many short stories, this is my first attempt at a novel, and this I would guess is particularly strange since I keep having plot tidbits pop into my mind that won't show up until book three or four. Not to sound all mystic, but if you've heard artists talk about how the painting or sculpture is there, on the canvas, in the stone, and the artist has only to release it, it's a bit like that only less stupid feeling. The story is all there, playing in the back of my head like shadows, and I'm always afraid if I look too closely it will become forced and not come together right at all.

So far I think it's coming ok, I'm not so much stuck right now as I am having a hard time managing my time (which is not remotely a new problem). I hope to be back on track next week. I'm so in love with this story, so engrossed in it, that I feel like I owe it to my characters to get this right.

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