My nearly 3 year old Morley has become very in tune with the fact we are having a baby soon. Baby brother in fact. Here’s a pic of a very cute first baby bro hug. the white blob in the foreground is my reclining tummy!
How We Become Who We Are is the working title of my doctorate novel. Today I had a bit of breakthrough with voice and character perspective – always a major challenge when beginning a novel and the answer to the most important question of all at this stage. What kind of novel am I writing? So far I’ve tried third person past tense, first person present tense – fortunately i’ve been able to exclude other options for this particular novel – sometimes the mind edits subconsciously – for this I am thankful. Neither on their own has felt right. So today after 4 hours of dissatisfactory reworking of the first 10 pages I come up with the mind shatteringly brilliant solution [please hear the sarcasm] of trying both. And I like it. I spent way too long on my previous novel writing in the wrong perspective – third person past tense – when what works best for it – and how it is now – is first person present. Somehow everything I wanted to say about the main character, her predicament and the themes/ideas suddenly sounded true when I’d found the right POV in which to present them. Spending so much time on finding the voice or perspective of your novel can feel like you going nowhere slowly. You might gaze longingly as your word count objectives for this week/month as they pass by ludicrously out of reach. But in fact the work you are doing is in many ways the most important work of all. Words on a page is what you can do. You are a writer. Putting the RIGHT words on the page – well that takes a better writer and that’s what you want to be isn’t it? With each novel you want to become a better writer. Better answer that question of what kind of novel am I writing then. Because when you have the voice everything else follows – form, structure, language not to mention your background research to do list. Then you can really start putting words on the page.
If you haven’t already caught this news series it’s worth a listen. Interesting speakers discussing issues relevant to all parents, taking the issues we parents care about everyday and giving them a rigorous airing. Have posted link to first ep in this series here – although currently at ep 3 as of last night – but lists give clear synopsis so you can of course choose to listen to whichever interests you:
How We Become Who We Are is my doctorate novel about the stories we tell that make us who we are online and the gaps between our real and virtual lives.
Is this myself, or are we merely fictions – David Shields reality hunger
From How We Become
‘Frankie knew the internet was a slippery thing. She knew how easy it was to get caught up. So many diversions, distractions, lies, fantasies, desires in one place. If it’s not selling you something it’s telling you something, making something, faking something. Sapping life out of the new, squeezing the value out of everything. Frankie had too often had enough. But as she watched the stats of her youtube channel pass 1 million subscribers she ascended from the merely ordinary to somewhat remarkable. It was a good feeling. A feeling she felt she deserved. For the first time in her life Frankie had assets. Assets that, if she played her hand right, could fundamentally change her life.’
Time for a little re-branding. After a bit of a break I am coming back to this blog with new enthusiasm and a slightly new angle. I am going on maternity leave in 3 months and have few teaching commitments in that time [or after for a period too of course] I am going to use this Blog to share thoughts, information and ideas about a broader range of subjects – see my strap line. I have nicked my Blog’s subtitle from a brilliant if controversial book I recently read by Canadian author Sheila Heti. Her 2013 novel/memoir How Should A Person Be? addresses this age old philosophical question in a provocative and striking way and reflects the theme of the content here. It also, conveniently, ring-fences a field of inquiry that legitimizes posting on all sorts of subjects – social, cultural, political, literary, cinematic – and post i will. I’ll be offering a short personal review of Heti’s book soon.