For my final paper in my Modern Linguistics class (which is really a literary linguistics/intro to stylistics class) I am doing an analysis of John Updike's Rabbit, Run. I will be studying the effect of the present tense on the narration, building upon the argument that the present tense brings the reader closer to the interior of the characters, rather than being a reflection on past events. It's like the difference between standing and watching a roller-coaster that you have just ridden and reflecting back on the ride you had to someone who has never ridden it versus taking that person who has never ridden it and riding it a second time with them. That way they can experience first hand what you experienced rather than hear your reflection on what it was like. While it doesn't work for every novel, it does work for Rabbit, Run.
Holy crap! I just figured it out. While thinking about my novel while working on my school work and keeping a mental note of how I am going to continue editing at some point after I get my school work completed I realized the fundamental point of the entire story, the underlying thread that ties all of the other threads together. The mainly anomaly I felt it lacked for the longest time but couldn't quite wrap my mind around until just now. It wouldn't have been possible for me to realize because I realized it because of my Linguistics class! Fuck yeah!
Anyway, the thing that I realized is that my novel was designed to be written in the present tense, I just have been writing it in the wrong tense this entire time. All of the changes I have made have dramatically improved the story, but lately I have just been chasing my tail and wacking off too much when I should be figuring out the thing that just wrap this thing up for fuck's sake! I just want to get on with it already! I am trapped in a Bill Murray kind of Groundhog's Day Hell with this God-forsaken book! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
I guess the point you can draw from all this nonsense, is now that I have identified that change I need to make in order to make the leap over that final hurdle and cross the finish line! I can finally do just that! Seriously, this is it folks. If this doesn't work, screw it, it's what I'm going with anyways.
There you go, optimism bound in reality. It can be done. I didn't fill myself with too much hope that it will actually be picked up by an appreciator and published, but I will at the very least feel proud to publish it myself and sell it for a reasonable amount of money, neither too much nor too little. Maybe I won't make much out of it, but it will be available for anybody who has a Kindle or other kind of e-reader. Also, definitely for Amazon you can download the free app for your computer or your phone and buy e-books. I am going to search for publishers who will let me focus my market more towards online (which will be the most cost-effective way of getting published as a new author), that if they can provide the financial backing for marketing and to help me provide a meager living for my wife and I, I will do as much as I can to help sell myself and continue producing new products.
Either that or I will make a living as a professor (and provide for my wife and our future family) and still continue to try and get published and if not publish my work myself, and I will be happy. No matter what course I take I still have to finish this first book. I have already hyped it too much to everyone I know to give up on it or never finish it. I just have to finish it and be done with it and accept that it is where I am at as a writer, and, maybe someday I will write a better novel or I will have the opportunity to edit a new edition, but, for now, I just have to have a final product (to put it in business terms).
I believe I have the tools as a writer to create a salable product. I am working on trying to minimize typos and grammatical/logical errors/fallacies, and hopefully the story and the message and the idea will be strong enough to garner some sort of audience. If not, I will keep pushing towards the future, writing new books and stories, continuing on in school until I can find a job that pays more than going to school does (this of course contingent upon my doing exceptionally well, but the topic is literature -- at which I excel). Although I am guilty of adopting critical points of view in my papers it is more for the quality of the paper/functionality of the argument than an actual point of view for which I subscribe. I am first and foremost a writer trying to improve my skill level and increase my knowledge. I will either max out my skill level or my knowledge (or raise it to a certain satisfactory point with satisfactory being able to get a well-paying job).
Well, unfortunately I have to get to work now. I might be able to get back to the novel later tonight after class, but that (the book) and this (this blog) have to go backstage for a while because the main show is about to start.
In the meantime, keep on rockin' in the free world with Neil Young, and I will dive back into John Updike (and yes, that was definitely meant how it sounds).