Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Editing Shards - Day One

How do I begin the re-write? By reading… and that’s certainly the least painful part of this process. Right now I am just reading for flow and continuity, trying to get a general sense for my story. And so far, I like what I am reading (I always feel like I’m writing absolute crap while I’m in the midst of the creative process, so I’m never too sure what I will find at the end).

I will say, though, I feel this novel (Shards of Glass) has a strong opening sentence:
April killed her father while Mom was at a PTA meeting.

Tell me that doesn’t make you want to read the second sentence?

Here’s a favorite quote of mine from a few pages (and in the story, a few years) later—

She picked up one of the paperbacks. “So why do you need a secondhand copy of The Great Gatsby, which sold for-” she checked the inside cover. “Three dollars?”
“There are a few things you need to have a home,” Nick said. “A good stock of breakfast cereal. Curtains in the bedroom windows. And a copy of The Great Gatsby.”

You can tell how I feel about Fitzgerald.

And from a little later on in that same chapter, here’s another favorite quote:

He always seemed to have a lot to apologize for, even though there wasn’t much he regretted.

The idea in Shards of Glass is that April helps her father kill himself, than covers it up to protect the family’s insurance money. She never tells her mother, and part of the staging involves pretending that her father died alone while she visited her boyfriend. Her mother never forgives her. April goes from lying about this one terrible thing, to lying about everything. When the story picks up again, five years later, she has a great life. She’s a student in med school, dating a great guy. But everything she has is about to be endangered by her pathological lying – and the all-too-temporal ghosts of her past.

The book’s an odd one – chick lit with lots of action (an armed bank robbery, blackmailing, kidnapping, a hostage rescue). The typical love triangle between April, her current boyfriend and her old flame – but without the predictable ending on that one. And really flawed characters, guaranteed to make you want to yell at the pages at times. I know I want to sometimes, and I created them.

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