Right now I’m in writing hiatus mode while editing. I’m revising The Alyssa Project – a novel I started way back in 2000 or 2001. I’ve rewritten it completely at least once and now am embellishing, dealing with name changes, and giving the characters more background and depth.
The Alyssa Project is about a child born to a teenager and kidnapped by a government agency because of the mother’s age and family instability.
I’ve found photos on the internet for each of my characters which, sorry to say, I can’t share here due to copyright concerns. However the photo collage I made is a good visual for me as I’m writing the story and dealing with descriptions. This revision is truly a re-vision.
I’m hoping that The Alyssa Project will someday be a published novel. I’m planning the cover art now. I plan to do the artwork… because I need to save the money until I, by miraculous providence, become better situated financially. Right now I’m still playing ‘catch up’ after my October 2011 adventure to the Bay Area and Santa Cruz. Translation: paying off credit cards. Sigh.
Have you ever read Up the Down Staircase? It is an epistolary novel comprised in large part of notes written between students at a highschool, hall passes, teacher’s reports, etc. . . all very imaginatively placed together to create a great novel. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you do so. Bel Kaufman wrote it.
I love the technique and want to include epistolary elements in The Alyssa Project. That’s part of why this revision is intense. I’m keeping what I already wrote in third person, but adding these first-person elements: journal entries, notes and letters, case narratives, court documents, and whatever else I can dream up to throw in there. I’m not only trying to liven up the novel, I’m trying to make it better by closely examining each character’s motives and emotions. And of course, I have to entertain potential readers. So this is a challenging revision, one I have great hopes for.
I finished a painting last night, in time to take it to the next writers club meeting. I’ve been working on it all week. I want to share it at the writers club because that’s where I started it last week, with a notebook page of doodle art… rather impromptu and not well thought out. That was the point of the painting – I call it The Philosophy of Imperfection. Now I’m trying to get a photograph of it to put on my art blog. It’s too big to scan.
All this art is practice – for the next big piece that comes along. My writing is the same. I’ve written some novels I love but every one is essentially practice for the next journey my writing will take me on.