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THE MATERIAL

  • Originally, March left for Wyoming. In this draft I had moved him to Denver. Finally, I settled him in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a town I have more firsthand knowledge of because my parents live there. Putting him somewhere familiar helped me flesh out his backstory during his time away from his family.

    Writing a draft in fits and starts over eight years left me with a lot of multiple versions of scenes. Halfway through the process, I moved everything into Scrivener, which helped a lot with organization. However, because I like to revise on hard copy, things still fall through the cracks—like these line edits I’m just now realizing didn’t make it into the excerpt.

    I am a fast drafter (a typical Vonnegut swooper), and perhaps that’s why my natural style seems so chock full of “to be” verbs. My line editing is a constant battle to remove as many as I can without overediting to verb choices that feel forced.

  • In the first draft, my characters were flatter, more archetypal, and their names reflected this. March was still Aries, June was Hera, and Lionel was loosely based off of Autolycus, son of Hermes and a skilled thief. The more I drafted, the more the characters seemed more suited to straight realism, albeit realism with mythological overtones.

  • And here's a little more context for the larger project and the bigger shifts I made along the way.