by Shelt Garner
I have really been spinning my wheels the last few weeks with the very first few chapters of the third draft of my first novel. I’m afraid I’m feeling a bit burn out. There is a very arbitrary structure in my mind about how the story progress and because I just can’t get it where it needs to be, I keep reading then revising the novel’s first three chapters over and over and over again.
As such, I think I need to give myself something different to piviot to creatively whenever I feel this way. At the moment, it seems like it’s going to be delving into the icy waters of screenwriting.
But this will happen in the context of my main goal still being finishing a mystery-thriller that is an homage to Stieg Larsson’s original Millennium series. My novel is so different that pretty much only I would notice any similarities.
Most of what is similar to Stieg Larsson’s work is structural in nature or the result of “form follows function.”
I will freely admit that my novel just isn’t as good as the novel I’m using as my “textbook” — The Girl That Played With Fire. That novel has a lot of heart. But that is, in general, what I want people to think of on an instinctual basis when they read my novel.
If they are fans of The Girl Who Played With Fire, they will feel like they’re putting on an old brown shoe. It will feel very cumfy and familiar, even if my novel is totally, completely, it’s own thing when it comes to subject matter.
That’s my goal, at least.
But I’ve studied Larsson’s stuff so much and have come to see some of his editorial decisions on a macrobasis as “the right way,” even though there is no such thing, I keep revising and revising and revising.
This is wearing me out. So, rather risk total burn out, I want to be able to pivot to screenwriting as necessary now and again.
It will be interesting to how long this plan lasts.