Some writing updates

It’s been an insanely crazy week! There were a few hours on Monday when I thought I might have to turn in my thesis next week (when I was expecting late-May), and, as you can imagine, this triggered a sizable panic attack. But luckily for me my thesis advisor has my back and I’m now scheduled to defend June 9 (instead of May 20). Commence sigh of relief.

My novel (!) is now just over 75 pages and I’ve got the entire narrative arc of section one written. It feels incredible to be able to say that. That means I’ll spend the next three weeks revising, revising, revising. I want to tighten this first section as much as possible. For the first pass I think that will mean continuing to drop little seeds for me to grow later in parts two and three of the book. For instance, one subplot that is going to become pretty big in part two had fallen away by page 35 so I went and dropped a few more small details around page sixty, just so the reader doesn’t forget (and so the eventual importance of that move seems believable). Now I know why it took me twenty-five years to learn how to revise: It’s hard!

In short story news, I wrote my first one today in about a year. It felt good, but those particular writing muscles are a bit rusty. I’m looking forward to being able to spend at least one day a week on short stories once I graduate. (I’m supposed to be breathing thesis right now, but I didn’t really cheat because the short story featured characters from my book.) I’m hoping that will mean I can start sending off more short stories again, for publication. I decided to stop (with Sam’s advice) because if an editor likes my story but it isn’t quite right, and he or she asks to see more work, I don’t have anything to send. Oh, I have other short stories, but none are ready to be sent off, and I don’t have the time right now to devote the tens of hours it would take to get them in shape. So I’m waiting.

Other than that, I’m just pushing my way through my thesis reading list. Right now I’m working on The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri. It’s fantastic. Now I just want to find one (or preferably two) more male writers to add to my list; it’s decidedly female-friendly right now with only two men.

Oh, and I need some sort of working title for my book (other than Working Title of Thesis the Awesome). I hate titles.

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