And in the midst of my revisions I received feedback from several key readers advising me on particular details or plot points, meaning that I had to unravel chapters and knit them back together, and deftly weave in elements that had been missing.
Some people have the impression that verse novels are easier to write than prose novels. But verse novels are not just broken prose. In a verse novel all that white space needs to carry meaning. Scenes and details off the page balance the story on the page. Each line break needs to be thought and rethought. Every word needs to sing, yet sing in the voice of the narrator. Dialogue needs to somehow sound natural, and poetic elements need to be nearly invisible so as not to outshine the story. Each page turn matters, and each chapter must add up to a full poem unit. Some days I yearn for the long-striding ease of prose.
Revision is a mind-bending, exhausting but essential process of discovery. At the end of each day of "final" revisions, you are closer to your story and your characters than you have been in all the months prior of drafting and revising. Your characters seem to inhabit you. You eat breakfast with them. You jog with them. You ask them what they want for dinner.
So after finally emailing the manuscript to my editor and agent, I felt the ache of a farewell. Relief but sadness. My office suddenly felt empty of the voices I'd been so intently striving to hear for the last few weeks.
Of course within 36 hours of pressing the send button, I had the requisite post-stress, massive migraine. A recovery day was in order. Kamakura was crazy crowded yesterday, the first Sunday of Golden week, but on a bike it's easy to find quiet temples away from the hordes.
So here are a few quiet post-revision photos:
|View from the hill behind Myohoji|