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Monday, January 24, 2011


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I think, unless you've made drastic changes, that you already know what I think--it's unique enough in setting and storyline that it should sell, and anyway I want to know what happens. Of course, you know more about writing (esp. writing long fiction) now than you did, I think, when you started this, but polish is easy. I vote you keep it.

(And anyway I won't finish Shift if you don't finish this, so there!)

John Ling

Just an idea -- you could go the Joy Luck Club route. I'm not sure if you have read the book, but it is essentially a novel made up of short stories.

The common thread is four Chinese immigrant women who meet weekly to play mahjong together in the titular Joy Luck Club, and the narrative unravels by flashing back to their individual pasts prior to coming to America before finally returning to the present with a poignant denouement that wraps the story up.

This was, interestingly enough, a literary technique used in the historical penny dreadfuls of the 19th century, and it's slowly coming into vogue again.

So, no, don't force yourself to write a conventional novel. Play to your strengths as a short story writer and go with your gut.

Fadzlishah Johanabas

Raven...noooo, I want you to finish Shift. It's such a good read, honest. I don't know if the storyline is unique enough, because it's a fallen angel preventing the end of civilization...banking on the setting would seem like using a crutch.

John, I actually thought about that. I'm using that technique with another novel WIP, a contemporary "New Adult". Still, both my books are neglected. If only I have your writing discipline! Hope to read your novel soon.

John Ling

Don't worry. It's a marathon, not a sprint. The important thing is that you're taking your time and having fun with creative process. It's not NaNoWriMo, nor should it be. Some works-in-progress are more elusive and slow in eventualizing than others!

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