So I am working on the fourth draft of my novella, Bloom. I am discovering a number of things about the project and earlier drafts.
- The first draft has no spine. Like a book, a spine keeps said book bound together. The original story had no spine. It certainly had uhm, action, namely the characters having a lot of sex. But no emotional story holding things together and advancing the action. Sex does not happen in a vacuum, and is motivated by many different factors. It only makes sense to explore those factors in more detail. My outlines have addressed that now, so hopefully in the fourth draft it will be stronger.
- I think I need to view the fourth draft, for all intents and purpose, as pretty much a first draft. Yes, I will be taking from the first draft, the strongest draft, for this fourth draft, but the majority of it needs to be rewritten. Which actually excites me, because I get to embark on this journey with the characters anew, and hopefully with a stronger draft as the end result.
- I changed the main character from being cisgender to trans. Why? There were so many more narrative and thematic possibilities there, and so much more depth and complexity to mine. Plus I get to write a novella about a trans guy having a coming of age at 36 and having lots of sex, which is always fun. Trans men tend not to exist in fiction, much less as sexual human beings.
- There is a theme of extroversion to introversion which interests me immensely. The main character moves from extroversion to introversion in the narrative. The status quo of stories is for things to move the other way around, from introversion to extroversion. But as an introvert, I am excited by the dark, by the contemplative, by the opportunity to be alone and figure out what you think about the world and yourself. And that idea, of a man learning how to be alone and to think deeply about the changes in his life and who he is, excites me.
The title comes from the song “La gloire à mes genoux” (“Glory at My Feet”). It translates to “I love the road I see before me”, roughly. But I am depending on others to tell me this because I don’t speak a word of French.