Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Closing tabs

I'm dug in properly on BOMH revisions now: I started yesterday morning, it takes a day or two to get into the swing of it but I'm definitely getting there...

My task is very clear, I have three priorities:

(1) Give the 'thriller' plot a better shape and momentum and build it more clearly from the start, including having a clearer sense of one main character's backstory and concerns as they shift over the course of the story the novel tells (and as they appear to and arouse the suspicions of the two other main characters);

(2) Address a couple of places where things suddenly end in an abrupt or overly compressed fashion (my besetting vice!);

(3) Handle the nonfictional/theoretical material about games and game-playing in a way that better integrates it throughout).

The last is easiest, the second is challenging because it's such a weakness of mine but not inherently that difficult, the first involves the need for extended concentration and reimagining and is the hardest part of what needs to be done. Aside from these three specific points, I need to give it one really good further pass through and make sure that the feel is as seamless and suspenseful as I can manage: my mental model for the effect I wanted to create was Donna Tartt's The Secret History, which I haven't reread for at least ten years but which is unusually effective in capturing the reader's attention with a relatively arcane body of material/subject matter melded with a genre-style suspense plot.

Meanwhile, a few tabs to close:

Ted Gioia's list of the top 50 postmodern mysteries includes many particular favorites of mine.

Joanne van der Woude on anagrams and acrostics of grieving in seventeenth-century New England.

Amazing cakes at the Night Kitchen Bakery in Philadelphia (link courtesy of my father, who went to a birthday party featuring one of their cakes and knew I would be entranced!).

Tiddlywinks nomenclature!

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the exciting Gioia list, which both contains many of my own favorites ("Tenser, said the Tensor"!) and indicates new paths. I'll add Clarence Major's "Reflex and Bone Structure," Dennis Potter's "The Singing Detective," and Pierre Bayard's "Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?" And, in the detective-as-criminal subgenre, William Hjortsberg's "Falling Angel" (a.k.a. "Angel Heart") -- and our old pal Sophocles.