Monthly Archives: February 2013

Choosing an End

I’ve just rewritten the ending to my new novel, Music Box. I have been thinking of this book as a romance, however serious the subject matter of bullying. In the romance genre, of course, there are two main protagonists who fall in love, and there is a happy ending. However, Music Box diverged from this model early on, when I decided to have three main protagonists and three point of view characters:

  • Jonah, a boy who is being bullied in school;
  • Paul, the high school music teacher; and
  • Davoud, the owner of the local music store.

Originally, Paul and Davoud were to come together over their mutual interest in helping Jonah. Things went somewhat afield when Jonah managed to develop a crush on another student, Billy. While Billy isn’t a POV character, he’s now a more prominent character, and his relationship with Jonah is now a major sub-plot.

Still stuck on the idea that I was writing a romance, my original ending had Paul and Davoud happily engaged, Jonah and Billy at a point of mutual understanding, and the bullying situation more-or-less resolved. However, once I had a complete draft of the novel, I found that I was not satisfied with the resolution of the bullying issue. That is what I just changed, for the better I think. One thing is clear, this is no longer a traditional romance. Hopefully, it is a better novel for all that.

Editing the new novel: MUSIC BOX

Last week, I finished the first draft of my new novel, tentatively called Music Box. This week, I’m working through a preliminary edit. I like to do it in passes. The purpose of the first–already done–was to break the scenes into chapter groups. I also did a little mark-up as I went. My second pass involved mostly adding or expanding description where it was thin. (My first drafts tend to be heavy on dialog and light on everything else.)

I noticed a few places where I need more internal dialog and will work on those this week. When that’s done, I plan to go back and look at the first appearance of each of my characters. I recently read Michael Chabon’s novel, Telegraph Avenue. The man writes amazing descriptions of people in his novels. I’m inspired to move away from physical description and try to find something more evocative to say about each person.

Next week, I plan to send the draft to my brother for a look from fresh eyes. Thanks, bro.