Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Book I SHOULD Have Written

Before Inconvenient was, well, Inconvenient, it was a 300+ page novel called Voices of the Generations. It told the story of three generations of one Russian-Jewish family--from pre-Stalinist Russia to present day U.S.

There was a lot of good about the story--vivid details, drama, etc. But it was missing something, and there was not enough pulling the stories together. And it didn't flow as well as I would have liked. The part that worked best was the teen character's section, and it inspired me to write a whole story of a Russian-Jewish girl told in a teen's POV. The final product--Inconvenient--did not have any of the same characters as VOG, but the book served its purpose. I learned a lot from VOG--from story structure to pacing and more.

For a long time, I never thought I'd want to go back to VOG. I had no clue how to fix it or where to begin. If I were to rework it, I don't think I would be able to keep any of it, and that's always been fine with me. Lately, though, I'd been thinking about that story more and maybe seeing if I could rewrite it. Then, I read Jodi Picault's The Storyteller and had a lightbulb moment.

She wrote a multi-generational story with multiple character arcs. She also used a fairytale to pull the whole thing together. The more I read the book, the more I realized that she did with that novel what I couldn't figure out how to do with VOG. I thought I'd feel jealous, but it actually inspired me. I started to realize how to fix VOG! Right now, I'm in the middle of a few projects, but eventually I'll go back to VOG and this time, I'll be armed with fresh ideas.


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