Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Novel is Playing Tricks on Me

Just the other day, I was revising in a very happy manner. Things seemed to be falling into place, and in a lot of ways, they still are. But in addition to the joy I can feel while working on TOSOL, I've also begun to feel the inevitable hate that (and, it seems, most writers) feel for their work at some point.

Right now, I like my characters, but I don't like their choices. Well, that's not true. Individually, their choices seem brave, sometimes selfless, and often something I wish I could do. But looking at them together, I'm starting to sense a message that I'm not sure I want to send. I can't even really say what it is, because I'm not entirely sure myself, but it runs along the lines of being rather anti-feminist, and I don't want that. I didn't set out to write a "I am woman, hear me roar" novel, but most of my characters are strong females and I think it's counteractive to have the cumulative message be what it seems to be.

I could be wrong about this. After all, it's been read a few times and no one's mentioned this. I'm very Type A, so there's a good chance that this is all in my perfectionist head. I also noticed that this "crap, am I being antifeminist?" worry only began to dawn after I began reading Libba Bray's fabulously empowering Beauty Queens.

My novel's also teasing me, as all of them seem to do, with knowing things about myself that I don't even realize. As I was revising yesterday, I started to see new meaning in some of the scenes I'd written, meaning that had always been there, speaking things I believe in or am scared of, but that I never consciously wrote to represent that. It's scary the way these things happen some times.

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