I posted more of the novel draft, and am still grappling with how to find this traitor: The Harvest: A Novel. Mysteries are no joke, and I am finding this sub-plot development to be a challenge. Plus, since my girls, my characters, aren't necessarily PI's, I may have them find the culprit by accident. Maybe. I had a thought about the team they just competed against having the enemy in their ranks, like the long-haired girl. Also, I want to amp up the tension between Jackie and Ashley, and possibly have an irresponsible sponsor leak that a rebel has infiltrated the candidacy process. (Which the Dean is lying about and has happened before. That will be a small twist.) If you're like, "What is Jesú talking about?" consider reading the draft of the novel.
I was also struggling with what to call the Dean. I wanted a name that meant power, so I picked Amaranda. I am still working on that choice. I also need to rethink Vye and Lisa because even though they have different qualities, I keep confusing Vye with Lisa as I write. Lisa needs more qualities because she's kind of bland, so I may backtrack in the writing process and draw them and write down their qualities and characteristics.
Anyway, these last few weeks I have been thinking about Octavia Butler, may she rest in peace and eternal creative joy. One of my indulgent goals this summer is to read all of her long works, none of which I have read. I started with The Fledgling, a vampire novel, and I believe her last long work that she printed before her early death. I love her style of writing and admire her writing choices. I am writing the Ashley section in first-person, present tense because I want the action to be "real". That makes sense, right? The Allen sections are in third person because he is less of an agent in society. I made those point of view choices deliberate.
Butler wrote The Fledgling in first person, past tense. What?! Seriously, who does that and creates engaging prose that sucks the reader straight in? That takes real craft, and I love how she splits up her dialogue, which I am emulating in some of my "he says" or "she says" sections. Wow, I hope some day, I will be that good!
Until then, I am still pecking along, trying to finish my novel and let it end, when it ends. It's not that I don't have a deadline in mind, but today, which would have been a great day to write, I am rereading the short stories I want in my syllabus. I start teaching next week. I decided as I was drafting my syllabi not to keep the same stories and in that order.
I also have to write a report that will take all of my brain power, and I need to focus. Ergo, the kids are out of the house. See, it would have been a great day to write, and I will, just not my novel. (I did write this morning for an hour and read over past segments.)
Today will be a strange day of reading dystopian short stories and political economy, but stimulating.
Stimulate your brain and hang onto your dreams like babies. #Resist.
Dr. Jesú Estrada,