A Beckoning War: Outtakes and Goof Reels

Greetings to all,

It’s been an awfully long while since I’ve posted on this website. I have not yet established any consistent focus or rhythm regarding content, but we’ll see what the future brings in that regard.  In the last number of months I have been busy editing and re-editing A Beckoning War, my long overdue (and truth be told, long-finished at least in terms of raw writing) novel, in addition to working, studying French and living life in my new home of Montreal.

Rest assured, the novel will be released…..but I am sacrificing expediency in the name of quality.  There has been lots of cutting lately–my lovely editor Lia is quite unsentimental when it comes to superfluousness, and I am quite unsparing when it comes to providing it.  I have become more dispassionate lately as well.  Why, just today I slashed about two pages out of a single chapter.

Overall, I think the flow and pacing of the novel has improved greatly in this recent spate of cutting and narrative reorganization–speaking of narrative reorganization, I learned a new trick.  Writers, take note.  When dealing with continuity and organization issues, I tend to just go backwards and forwards in the story making adjustments, relying mostly on memory and ad hoc jotted notes, often on discarded work papers, receipts, eviction notices, university degrees, jury summons and the like.  That’s right, my system is memory, which is no system at all.  Just ask anyone who has ever seen my work area.

So, in order to help me find a way through the manuscript quickly, Lia suggested for me to very briefly summarize each chapter into a grid and cut the squares out.  I could then  move them around at will if chapters needed to moved, or see which ones could be combined, and the effect that would have, and so on….The result has been brilliant.  I’ve been able to make changes quickly and efficiently lately (what a string of adverbs.)

I have included a link here on the story sharing site Wattpad to a chapter that I have cut from the story outright.  In this scene, Jim, the main character, is musing on his decision to join the army and go to war and compares himself to his younger brother Mark who has already run off and joined the air force.  This triggers a flashback of he and Mark as young boys with BB guns.   I am including it here because I think there may be the seeds of a short story based on the sequence of the two boys in the forest.  What do you think?

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