My Novel, Part III

So what is my novel about?

Well, I don’t like to give away spoilers here, in case anyone reading this will end up reading my work, but I can discuss it from a 50,000 foot level.

Essentially, it’s a coming of age story about some mid-20s persons who have just left university and now trying to find their footing in life. I remember being 25 and its both a wonderful time (carefree and possibly making some money versus being a dirt poor student) but also scary since your career choice may not be settled and often you have to start off at the bottom of the rung, which can be a trying experience.

This is a very character driven novel. To me, that means that the crux of the story is about moving characters from point A at the beginning of the novel to point B at its end. Obviously, the plot, such as it is, is the device to accomplish this goal. This is quite different from a plot driven novel where the plot is the essence and characters populate the world to accomplish the plot goals. I say this is character driven since the characters were developed in my head many years ago when i was bored and travelling and decided it might be fun to experiment with creative writing. There are two female characters in particular who I have had in my head for quite some time.

In a lot of ways, this story is my way of understanding who these characters really are: What motivates them? What fears do they have? What are their dreams? What kind of weaknesses do they possess? How do they handle problem solving?

I can say, after finishing my first draft and now editing the novel, that if nothing else, I have satisfied myself in my mind, why the characters are the way I originally envisioned them about eight years ago. That is a small victory at least.

I divided the book into three parts. I wasn’t sure about this at first but I think its the right decision. Usually, a novel is divided into parts where there is a time shift or a radical shift in point of view. In this case—again, no spoilers—the parts represent different interconnected stories, some of which bleed into the other. By the end of the novel, the reader hopefully (if I have done my job as a writer) will get a better understand of the evens in Part I from reading Parts II and III.

The novel is not only character driven but heavy in theme. One of the major themes explored is that of inspiration and muses. I should know, since I have my own muses whom assisted in the inspiration of this novel. Other themes will become apparent as the reader progresses through the novel.

As far as structure, it fits the three act structure well, although I do subdivide Act II into Act 2a and Act 2b, since while they generally attempt to accomplish the same goal (put obstacles in the way of the protagonist), I think they also play subtly different roles. I also believe it’s a good idea to have something dramatic happen at the novel’s mid-point. In the case of my novel, there is a psychological significance to this event but whose meaning only becomes better understood by the end of the novel.

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