I officially started a new novel today. As soon as I did I realized I didn't really have a clue how to do it. You'd think I would, after all these novels, but every book is so different. So I did a lot of the same things I make my UCLA students do--figure out desire lines, map out the characters, think about what a character wants vs. what a character needs. For me to be attached to a novel, I have to have a killer first chapter, so that when I am slogging through the mire after that chapter, I can't quit because, after all, there's that chapter! There were times with my novels where I hated every word except for the words in the first chapter, and that was the only reason I couldn't hurl pages out the window and myself after them. I have glimmers of life in my characters, and I think I have the heartbeat of the novel--the what if, the thematic twang that gets my own heart beating. But it feels so babybird brand new that it's a little nervewracking.
I also started a new sweater for my son--a knit in the round deal which is so easy and so zen that it's the perfect project while watching videos. You know, I once had a boyfriend who accused me of being boring because he said all I liked to do was read, write, watch way too many films, knit and run around the city. What's wrong with that? Those all seem perfectly wonderful things to me to do. And anyway, he forgot bikeride and cause trouble. Lucky for me, my husband likes to do the same things--except he doesn't knit.
Back to writing. See you later, alligators.