In addition to the short pieces I’ve been working on, I’m trying to rewrite my NaNoWriMo novel, which was a murder mystery set in the corporate world, but now may be just a mystery set in the corporate world.
I “finished” the novel in November, but I wasn’t happy with it. I felt like something was missing – a strong voice, distance from my real life (not that I’ve experienced a murder mystery, but some of the characters were based on real-life people) – and so I’m giving it another go.
I’ve added an element of mystery about the narrator. She has her own dark secret that unravels at the same time as the present-time mystery. I like that, but actually writing the novel has been so incredibly boring.
I don’t know why. I’ve written book-length works before. Besides the NaNoWriMo ones, I wrote a YA novel, two (unsuccessful) literary novels, and my memoir. Why am I slogging through this one?
Maybe I’ve become used to writing in short bursts. Even my memoir was written this way – I wrote it as a series of episodes from my life, then melded those episodes together in a continuous book. With this novel, I’m tackling it as a full-length piece, chipping away at it like it’s a giant rock.
Of course the novel is broken out into scenes and episodes. Maybe I just have a psychological block. Of course I don’t want to believe the book itself is boring. In my gut I don’t think it is. I foresee much weirdness coming afoot.
I struggled with the mystery aspect of it. I haven’t read many genre mysteries. But I decided I want it to be more of a non-genre story that has a mystery, sort of like The Secret History. I want the narrator to be seduced by a seemingly cozy world that turns out to be really bizarre and, ultimately, dangerous, and that reflects her own darkness.
Easier said than done.