Novels – they grow up so fast.

I’m still struggling to bring my novel to a close.

Tonight, for some inspiration, I dragged out the short story that eventually became my novel. I wrote the story last spring, and a year ago, turned it in as a workshop sample for my MFA program.

It’s a strange little piece. I’m not exactly sure when or how the idea for it hit me, but I was watching a lot of Rupaul’s Drag Race at the time, and as an arts reporter, had been writing a series of stories on summer Shakespeare productions. I must have also picked up a bag of JaVaNa coffee beans at the grocery store. Somehow all of this churned together in my brain and came out as a short story about a drag queen named Javana who desperately wants to play the Lady Macbeth in an amateur Shakespeare on the Green production.

The story is 16 pages long. That’s it. Sixteen pages. My manuscript is, at this point, 260 pages long. Good lord – that’s a lot of pages. I don’t think I’ve ever written anything that long. They funny thing is that the 16-pager is almost a miniature of the novel; both pieces cover (more or less) the same material and the same amount of time. Both attempt the same character arc. It’s amazing to me that I ever thought I could do that with a short story.

Novels. They grow up so fast. This one has been my baby. I’ve loved it and nurtured it and given it the best I could. That said, I can’t wait until this one is fully grown.  After graduation, I’m kicking its lazy butt out of my house so it can go out into the world, get a job and hopefully support me in my old age.


13 thoughts on “Novels – they grow up so fast.

  1. You show a lot of insight into the personality of your novel and the process of creating it. Well done Ann! I’m looking forward to reading it.

  2. Another great blog!

    Isn’t it crazy thinking back to what instigated a story/novel? I do it all the time and it still just fascinates me.

    I’ve read the short story, now I can’t WAIT to read the novel!

    • I’d completely forgotten that I gave you ladies the short story last summer! (I took your advice and moved the backstory.)

      It is weird to look back at novels and see how they came about. Normally my novels all started in some slightly embarrassing way (a dream about dinosaurs, too much time spent listening to Metallica, an insane desire for revenge). Actually I think this might be the only novel without embarrassing origins.

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