Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Journal of a "Novel"-Entry 27

Chapter 2 in the Books, So to Speak

Not much meat to this post, mostly gravy, but I did want to note for the sake of the general historical record (??) that the writing on Chapter 2 is complete, and I am now entering the revision and editorial process on the Chapter, which is officially titled "A Premature Death, New Experiences". I started writing the chapter on August 31 and finished the actual composition of it October 27. It will probably take me a number of weeks to revise and edit it, so I'd say that the goal now is to at least have started on Chapter 3 by the time we hit Christmas. But at that point at least I will have a Prologue and a good two chapters completed for the draft of the novel. I am not really sure how well the chapter turned out; certainly I will be working hard on it over the next month or more, trying to make it better. I think I covered the general themes and plot points I had envisioned, and I also think I ended the chapter on the right tone, which hopefully will set us up nicely for Chapter 3.

New Working Title in Contention

Also, I also have a new working title for the novel in official play, contending for the right to grace the cover of what may end up being my first novel. The original working title, which is not exactly off the table, is "Obeisance to Mammon", which I have defended on this blog, but I am not totally sure of it all the same. The new working title is "Only the Dying", which I have taken from the work of Indiana's best-known poet, James Whitcomb Riley. The name of the poem is "Our Kind of Man", and the verse was written as follows:

And the sick man sees the sun once more,
And out o'er the barren fields he sees
Springing blossoms and waving trees,
Feeling as only the dying may,
That God's own servant has come that way...

I have to think on it more, but I think the imagery of someone who is 'sick' - which could be interpreted a number of ways - looking out over the 'barren fields' is evocative and in some ways recalls to my mind a man such as Walter Brogan. Additionally, the phrase 'only the dying' provides a link between Walter Brogan and all of us: for in one sense, who is not among the 'dying' of the world? I think this is a title that sounds good and is worth consideration. Therefore, it is officially in the running.

Hope everyone has a Happy Hallowe'en. Personally, I can think of little scarier than trying to write the rest of this novel....!

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