Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Inside You The Time Moves and She Don't Fade
So... my novel is driving me crazy. I know I don't spend a lot of time rambling on about it in here. How did a fictionalized account about my broken heart end up becoming some epic saga about Isabel and the men in her life, her eventual return to the church and now the possible conversion of her somewhat agnostic boyfriend? It's about more than just that, but if I keep on going at the pace I'm going, it will be a thousand pages long and be so far off from my original idea, I don't know what I'll have.
Speaking of reading, writing and characters, I saw a book at Borders that caught my eye a few months ago. Usually, after Mass I usually go for coffee with a good friend of mine and my mom sometimes comes along. I buy lots and lots of books, mostly in the genre that I write, sometimes historical fiction and I've read a few biblical fiction books. There was one fictionalized story about Mary Magdalen that I really disliked but I read it all-- it was like 800 pages. In lieu of reading fiction, I buy and read non-fiction. Lately, a lot of spiritual stuff. Anyway, on that particular Sunday, I picked up a book with characters that sounded similar to mine. The main character a single woman (younger than Isabel) living with her boyfriend, and a brother who is a priest. I decided not to buy it for those reasons. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I went on a book buying spree and I bought this particular book. It was nicely written, though I thought the characters were a bit flat and the plot wasn't bad or overly original, it was an easy read. I don't think the story will stick with me.
Regarding plots, honestly, there aren't that many overly original plots in fiction-- they're all re-tellings of the same basic plots in fiction. I have an email I should repost with the basic fiction plots. I'll save it for the writing journal, but I digress.
This story was more about characters who happened to be Catholic, than anything really exploring Catholicism in fiction, which apparently mine does. While there was a sister with a brother as a priest relationship, it isn't like mine. Whew. Thank goodness. I don't like what she did with her priest character-- but that was her choice-- my gripe will wait for my post about priests in portrayed in pop culture. It's still in draft mode. The life my character lives in my story will be very different.
Reading this book isn't going to change how I write my story or influence it by any means. I just realized that my approach with similar sorts of characters, relationships and themes are going to be done very differently.
My stories are more character driven than plot driven. Believe me... I don't even know what my plot is. Well... I do... but it doesn't follow a simple path or outline. The working title of my first novel is called "Unmarked Paths" which is quite fitting.
One of my fears is that it's far too Catholic for a mainstream audience. That's actually trumping my fear that it is too Hispanic. And then on top of that... all the other characters are talking to me and I have a whole future story churning around in my head. I wish I knew how to shut it all down at night.
Eeek. I spotted a mouse. At least I think it was a mouse. It might have been a big, black spider that ran really fast. Ohh... a centipede perhaps. Ewww. I hate those more than mice. You'd think after spending an afternoon washing floors, no vermin would want to come into my house-- no crumbs, no mess, nothing to find on the floors. I guess not. Anyway, I'm now in my bedroom, hopefully far, far away from any unwelcome creatures.