I've spent quite a bit of time away from my novel. Read Choke by Chuck Palahniuk for the first time... To cleanse the palate. Now I'm reading through my work to see if it works — if it makes sense.
I've only read what I've written in parts. As I went through editing chapter by chapter, I'd stop at the end of each chapter and type up the changes and go over it all again. Never taking in the whole thing at once...
I'm only a quarter of the way through, and I'm making little notes on what I need to change. Things that no one is going to care about — cutting out some "whale rendering". Things that need to be added to add a little depth to some of the characters, I hope.
So far, it seems strange... Strange things going on — it's bizarre. But I'm hitting the important beats, I feel. Running a long for a little while, and then bursting with a huge sprint plot. A What the Fuck?! moment that makes you want to keep reading to find out what is going on, and figure out where this thing is going.
At least that's how it seems to me...
There are just some times when I HATE doing this thing... Hate being in front of those people.
It's usually when I'm being put in the possition of being in control of that ship. I have to move things along. I have to keep things on track. I have to put some sort of focus to this thing that should, and usually is, an organic being that behaves properly on its own... But this past week was different.
Matt is the only person in our group that has a published book. It was a nonfiction work put out by an imprint of a major publisher. His is also a very strong and commanding presence, and I can't help but feel intimidated by him. He is opinionated, and single minded — not that those are bad things, it's just that I don't do well in dealing with those kinds of people... And when Richard started talking about politics, Matt started in on him and I couldn't do anything to reign him in. It's not that I was taking sides with Richard (even though I agree with what he said), it's that there wasn't a constructive dialogue going on, and this is a Writer's Workshop, not fucking PBS Political Corner...
It's just really hard for me to deal with him, and it only made it harder that everyone else was uncomfortably looking at me to step in and bring things back on track. Something I could not, in the end, do.