Re-reading Your Old Work. Yikes.

I found myself, as is pretty typical, unable to sleep last night, but I was fresh out of ideas and/or will to revise, there was nothing new to read on, and I didn’t feel like reading any of the myriad of books I own.

So I sat and re-read Last Request, which was the last book I wrote and currently resides in a file on my computer. I tried to revise this into a workable second draft and I couldn’t quite find my way through the unfamiliar and murky waters of revision at the time, so I put it away. I felt a compulsion to read it last night.

Haven’t looked at it in months, maybe even a year.

I still like the story, but yeah, I think the paranormal parts and the darker, more emotional stuff didn’t mesh very well.  I remember thinking, at the end while writing it, that maybe the paranormal stuff could be taken out and the relationship–the love triangle, quite frankly–could really stand on its own as a story.

Reading it last night, the feeling I got was that Eva and Brix’s friendship and relationship was the strongest component. I like the lead characters, what can I say? I think there are some real moments between them, which I was naturally pleased to read, in a total “Ooh! I wrote that? Self-impressed!” kind of way.

The story itself is super melodramatic and angsty. I noticed a lot of em-dashes going on and a lot of physical reactions to events, which I now think should not be used as a reaction or as subtext so much.

But there’s definitely still something I connect to in Eva’s cynical narrative. I think the theme is that you have to get out of yourself in order to understand yourself better.

It’s a weird business, re-reading your past work, and it’s particularly strange when the work garnered varied and odd reactions among my friends, too.

 There wasn’t much connection between the friendship/relationship and the paranormal aspect–or really, the different settings, either–but I liked the coming-of-age stuff.

And I liked the tension in the book, too. I didn’t think I wrote tension all that well, but it was there.

But, lord, those dashes–Did I think this was an effective way to emphasize that Eva is a fast talker, that her mind is constantly working? Because stylistically, it doesn’t work!

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