The Death of a Novel

Writing a book is a monumental task. To reach the end goal takes dedication. It doesn’t matter if it is the first book you’ve written, or the 100th: to stick to one story is a commitment on par with marriage. Not many people have the stamina to pull it off.

Often, though, writing the book proves easier than what follows. Sure, you can publish the book, warts and all, and let the fates decide, but why? Writing is an art. Imagine if this painting by Leonardo were in its roughest form. It may be recognizable, but it wouldn’t be the work of art adored by millions. Unfortunately, that is the position I am finding myself in at this very moment.

The truth is, I made a mistake with my first novel. The centerpiece, what everything works toward, is someone’s death. I took inspiration from a tragedy that occurred my senior year of high school. While writing the book was cathartic, I am finding myself avoiding revisions. Not because I don’t want people to read it, I do. Three other people, one of whom I sought approval before beginning revisions (I’ll talk about all of this in the future), have read Mad World. But despite receiving permission, I have decided Mad World is a book for my eyes only. It was a story that I needed out of me so I could move on.

So what to do? Move on.

Currently, I am revising a book I have sub-titled The Completely Factual Account of a Fictional Character, researching for a novel set during the aftermath of World War II, writing a horror novel, and outlining a fantasy novel. Which of these makes it to the finish-line first is anyone’s guess at this point. While, again, Factual/Fictional is largely inspired by my own life, I made the conscious decision to write something considerably lighter in tone. Hell, it took Herman Wouk nearly thirty years before he could finally tell what he calls “The Main Task”. If Mad World is never published, so be it. What matters is that I am writing. Every day, words are added.

Until next time,

J.B.K.

 

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About Jonathan Brett Kennedy

Husband, father to furry children, reader, writer, and lover of history.
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