My summer class was cancelled, so I decided I'm going to have a summer of reading lots of books set in the 1930s and 1940s, books about Appalachia, about minorities, about people struggling. I put together a book list that includes Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and a handful of Appalachian writers.
Today, I finished The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. I can't say how much I love Toni Morrison's writing. The story is brilliantly written - it's simple and poetic and honest. It made me see a perspective I've never seen before with every turn of the page. If I could choose a writer to emulate, it would be Toni Morrison. I love her writing.
Last week I began reading The Child of God by Cormac McCarthy. Coincidentally, the subject matter, incest and pedophilia, is similar to The Bluest Eye.
Unlike The Bluest Eye, The Child of God was crude and explicitly unpoetic. It was written in a way that made me feel like I needed to take a shower to wash the vileness and evil off of me. In theory it's good writing that lets you get into the heads of people who are depraved. Good for Cormac, I guess, but I stopped reading before I made it to the half-way point and threw the book away. I don't think I've ever done that before, simply throw a book in the trash.
I'm not sure which book I'll read next, but I want to revise a chapter or two first.
The revision of the first chapter of my latest WIP, my first historical novel, is done. When I read it in my class for my final project, I got a solid, "Wow!" from the professor that came to critique me and my classmates. Yay!
But I only have one chapter done. One. One out of roughly forty. 2.5%.
I completed at least 90% of the research I needed to do for the entire novel, so maybe the revisions won't be as overwhelming as I think they will be, but I switched from third person to first person, so basically every word will be rewritten, although the story is the same.
I've written four novels so far (and two halves). And I have completely finished edits on none (except that one chapter). I have a strong urge to write the first draft of another novel and another after that. I've done plenty of revisions, just not to the point that I would call any one of them done.
I wish my summer class wasn't cancelled. Apparently the intense, ulcer-producing pressure of public scrutiny works for me.