The great debate rages on, and my poor novel is caught in the middle, what shall become of it?
They say it’s all in the details, so here’s the details. In the early to mid-1990's yes a millennium ago, ok maybe closer to fifteen years or so, back in the heyday of my writing career (I say hay day, because there was more vision, more prolific, never at a loss for ideas, and never enough writing sessions to keep me happy,) I’ve lost a lot of that since then, but in an attempt to regain some of that I have decided to take a second look at a novel I was writing. Back to the hay day, I had a good start of a novel that I was working on, a dozen or so chapters, some only a few pages, some more lengthy. Any ways the point being that a second look at this old attempt, has revealed that some of it is actually pretty good. I have chosen to tackle it as my major writing project, to flesh it out, give it some consistency, and to finish it. When I do finish it, we could market it as “20 years in the making” (has a nice ring to it anyways).
So the debate is this, I address certain issues that really date the story, one scene has a teenager carrying a boom box instead of an I-pod or mp3 player, in another scene a business man takes great pride in his cell phone use (yes there actually was a day when not everyone had a cell phone) and I also address how technology may change the future (wow who would have ever guessed) - - remember this is back in the day of dial up 56k connections, pre historic in comparison to today’s speed.
So the debate comes to this, will people understand? A new book written about a time in the past? (Ok, maybe it is a silly question, but still one I’m wrestling with) So the pro’s and the con’s keep running through my mind but the pros’ are still winning, especially when the consideration of the changes that would have to be made to the story, it is those changes that would diminish meaning in the story, and if that meaning was diminished the original concept of the story would diminish, thus making the final product suffer. I don’t want the final product to suffer, ever. It is as if the final product would be a watered down version of the original, and thus would lose meaning.
The debate still wages on, if I leave it as it is, the original meaning will have to be accurately communicated to the reader. Can I accurately portray that vision to the reader without too much extra commentary? (I believe that will be that hardest part. Am I not giving the reader enough credit to figure out the quills and quirks of an earlier time past, and if not why not?)
After writing this analysis or should I say putting my thoughts on paper and then reviewing them I have decided to let the professionals decide. Seriously, I will leave the novel as is, add to it and hope to keep it accurate to the time setting it was originally written in and allow the novel not only to speak for itself, but also allow it to stay true to itself, then follow the advice set forth by an unknown agent or book editor. It’s the only way the book can remain real, the only way for it to have its intended impact, and the only way I can show confidence in its readers to sort out meaning and understanding. This worked out pretty good maybe I’ll just have to blog all my future dilemmas!