We're talking about THE LAST KIND WORDS in the DSD book club. Pop over and join in. Feel free to start your own thread, too.
Oh, and here's a cool interview with Julian Barnes. I just read THE SENSE OF AN ENDING and quite dug it. The interview is from a decade or so ago, but still has great insight into reading and writing.
Of course, some novelists have produced only one great book—Dr. Zhivago, The Leopard. In fact, should one be a sort of jobbing novelist and produce lots of books at regular intervals? Why shouldn’t one great book suffice?
Absolutely right. No reason at all why one should go on writing just for the sake of it. I think it is very important to stop when you haven’t got anything to say. But novelists sometimes stop for the wrong reasons—Barbara Pym gave up because she was discouraged by her publisher, who said that her books had become flat. I’m not much of an E. M. Forster fan, but he stopped when he thought he had nothing more to say. That is admirable. Perhaps he should have stopped even earlier.
Also, PULP INK is free for now. The book has all your favorite authors, so go grab a free copy.
And I've started a thing for your phone/mobile/tablet that I call Shorts2Go in response to friends who've said they like to read stories on their phones. I looked for decent sites that collected stories I liked and wanted to share with folks. Some were cool. None were formatted to work cleanly on your phone. Or my phone. So I started Shorts2Go. For you people. Because I love you. Dave says I should Kickstart it for $100,000 so I can buy copies of WITNESS TO DEATH.
So, anyhoo, I've been working on the next big project.
I have two novels in the drawer. They're the first and second of a series. The first one set things up fairly well, but, for whatever reason, we never closed the deal on it. The second one takes most of the same characters and throws them into another disaster.
You know how this works, so why am I explaining it to you?
Well, I went back to the first novel to streamline it. Keep in mind, this is a novel I started nearly a decade ago. I don't write the same way anymore. I don't have the same, well, whatever it is real writers call "style." My writing is different and I write differently.
So revisiting the first novel is weird as hell.
Anyhoo, I figured I'd take some of what I liked from the first one and some of what I liked from the second one and see could I work something out. They both have similar themes, though the second one is considerably darker than the first.
But they both have good writing in them. I say that with very little pride. I'm just telling you. There's good writing in there. And there's writing that's not so awesome. So, I don't want to just let the characters in there die, never to exist, suffocated in some .rtf file on a hard drive I won't be able to find in a few years.
Have you ever mined earlier works for pieces? I mean, extensive mining? Not running down there and grabbing a scene, but really devoting a year to digging about?
Did it work? Is there a trick to doing it well?