One Draft Down, One Major Revision To Go

앗싸 가오리! (God I hope I spelled that right.)

Well, there’s good news and then there’s more work—but hey, no bad news.

I’ve finished the first draft of my foreigner-in-Korea ghost story novel, which currently had no proper title though the working title is “Dead Abroad.” (I know, it sucks… I need to find a title for this thing.) I don’t want to get into more detail about it for now. Partly, I’m just tired of typing. It’s 270-some pages, about 80 or 90 of which I’ve written in the last 5 or 6 very productive and inspired nights. Whew!

Of course, there’s a lot of work to go…

For one thing, I need to go back and change the grammar of significant hunks of the thing. I only realized late in the game why the character who’s telling the story is doing so, and how he’s relating it, as well as to whom it’s addressed. There will be significant revisions of sections where “she” becomes “you”, with all the contextual and tone changes that go along with that.

Secondly, there are some things which I think can be worked in which would enrich the novel, as atmosphere-inducing background material… I have included some interesting moments from Korean history, some interesting facets of things I’ve come across in my readings, but there are others I took note of, and left out, but which I’d like to work in. (Tomorrow afternoon I shall make a list of them and puzzle out where to work them in.)

Finally, I shall have to retire a few CDs from my listening for a while: I relied on them for mood a great deal, and now I cannot stand to listen to them:

  • several CDs of traditional Korean music
  • Jang Young-Gyu’s soundtrack to the Korean horror film 4인용 삭탁, which was a big mood-aid for the spookier bits
  • a couple of Aphex Twin CDs for when I was writing the really harsh part set in North Korea
  • I blush to include it, but it helped me a lot, track 13 from Tori Amos’ Boys For Pele CD, and
  • Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, which is perfect for any gloomy writing you ever need to do.

That’s not an exhaustive list of what I listened to, for that changed daily, but it’s a list of what I’ll need to take out of circulation for a while, for sanity’s sake.

Oh, of bloggish pertinence, I was working up my list of thank-yous (still to be expanded by those kind souls who give me criticisms of my work when I start sending it to close friends next week or so), and I figured it would only be fair to include The Marmot in the list. His observations on Korean history have proved useful to me in my quest for more knowledge, as well as interesting Korean things to throw into this story.

And now, to bed.

3 thoughts on “One Draft Down, One Major Revision To Go

  1. Congrats. I’d love to read your book when it’s complete. Maybe you’ll get inspired for a better title if you give yourself some distance (time) from the book for awhile.

  2. Character development like this (..where “she” becomes “you” ..)looks so interesting. Are you trying a sort of deconstructive or postmodern style? I can’t wait to read…

  3. Hi there,

    왕음치/Blinger, actually, I’m sure a better title will come to me when I revise it, actually; I’ve just not put much thought into it, to be honest. I was focused on the story itself. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

    And no, June, it’s not postmodern in style, whatever that actually means. :) I think Tristam Shandy and Don Quixote, some of the earliest novels in any language, were among the most “postmodern” in attitude of any we now have.

    An old essay of mine covers the subject of postmodernist thinking and SF… You can check it out by following the link, but the gist is that SF (and similar lit) is a kind of literature that, while it cribs from the older Victorian Realist school in terms of style—creating an immersive imaginary world for its readers—it also works at tearing apart the now-centered thought system of the reader. In a way, you could say SF is inherently a deconstructionist literature, because it is simultaneously pulling you into an immersive and realistically possible imaginary world, and pushing you away by exposing you to so much of what you know is not now real. It demolishes “now” and “real” from primal points of reference to possible points of reference, with other possible reference points often located far elsewhere or in our possible future.

    As for the “she” becomes “you”, I can see how this would be something someone would do in an explicitly postmodernist novel, but that’s totally not what I am doing. It’s just that I realized, too late, that the book is an epistolary novel—a kind of letter from one character to another—and now I need to go back and make the changes necessary for that to be reflected in the narrative.

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