The new project is another novel and it’s a little on the complex side because it involves two separate stories in two distinct time periods. Think Michael Cunningham’s The Hours (which I read recently) or Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book (which I read last year). Whether I have the skill to pull it off is another question, and it’s the main reason that I hesitated to move forward on this project, which I actually started in late 2011. While it’s clear that these split modern/historical story lines can work–both of the books I mentioned won numerous awards and were bestsellers–I suspect that agents groan when they see them coming. They don’t want complex structures, I suspect. They just want something that opens big and keeps getting bigger. But I don’t like to read those sorts of books, so I probably shouldn’t try to write one.
Anyway, since the beginning of the year I have been working on this project fairly steadily. A writing buddy and I committed to swap ten pages of work every Friday, and so far that’s helped to keep me moving forward. I actually had a Swiss-cheese draft already (lots of holes), so I’m working with that and doing the necessary back fill as I move forward.
I don’t want to say too much about the novel at this stage, but I will say that it takes place in New York and Southeast Asia, in the early Twenty-first Century and the early Twentieth. I’m not quite ready to share excerpts, but the next time I talk about the WIP, I might do that.
What’s your Work in Progress? How’s it going?