Friday, 24 July 2009

The novel draft creaks slowly forward like a large skeletal dinosaur. Crawling out of disparate writings from the past, the movement towards getting the thing into shape has seen large swathes of text fall away into the swamps. What is left now is something more focused, but fatally flawed. Potentially.

Restructuring in this way, or rather constructing in this way, could be the death of the work. Initially put together, patchworked, from several different narratives, several characters who just seemed to want to live together, the entire focus of the thing has now shifted, the narratorial voice has moved on and my concerns have progressed.

The author, then, as Tantalus, constantly reaching out for fruit or water only to find that the branches raise or the waters recede. Can it be that I will work and rework the text at a slow enough pace that it will never be finished, like trying to draw water from a well with a bucket with a hole? Each concerted effort is enough to fill the bucket, but in the time it takes me to draw it to the surface, the water has drained and I must begin again, using the same empty, flawed bucket.

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