Before I left for home, I finished my second extensive revision of my novel, which I worked on through the month of July. Since I’ve been back, I’ve read my novel from start to finish, making sure that my improvements still feel like improvements and being careful to catch little mistakes I missed along the way.
Now, it seems, it’s just about ready to go out into the world, and I feel as if I should know what agents, etc. are going to say about it. But, I have no idea. I do know, however, that it is a book that clearly represents me and my aesthetic interests. After reading it again and then reflecting on my first novel, I definitely have my little obsessions.
And so, for no other reason than to begin making sense of them myself, I’m going to list them here. Admittedly, this is a bit self-indulgent, but maybe some of you out there have similar little obsessions in your writing or your other artistic expressions. Anyway, here are a few:
1) I love writing female characters . . . it’s a sort of emotional/imaginative drag, if you will.
2) I’m fascinated with letters, journals, photographs, etc.—fragments of evidence that, through the course of the story, create a sort of collage of the characters’ emotions and motivations.
3) Gothic settings, particularly decaying houses . . . even as a kid I remember being drawn to derelict houses covered with vines.
4) Various Perspectives . . . I always want more than one point-of-view of the events in a novel. It just seems necessary to me.
5) Doubles/mirror images . . . this probably has something to do with me being a Gemini.
6) Change through violence . . . without a doubt, this is an echo of my fondness for Flannery O’Connor’s short fiction.
7) Identity . . . I like to explore who a character is to himself, to other characters, and to the world.