How my writing of my current novel is going: not well. The plot, such as it is, is very metaphysical. It is not as challenging or as revolting as Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead (1986), but I fear that it won’t sustain anyone’s interest. My main character is, essentially, suffering a nervous breakdown. My wife told me that Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (1813) was recently jokingly dismissed as being about nothing more than several persons visiting each other’s houses and rooms, but the point is that was a joke. Her novel is about the relationships, with misunderstandings and ulterior motivations providing the suspense. My novel does not have those. It is clear to me that I must introduce more characters, but I must do so in a way that is believable. Unfortunately, that has proved exceedingly difficult. My main character is isolated.

I have created some conflict for the story, and it has gone well, but I fear it will end long before my main character’s personal struggle. I need more, something bigger.

Imagine you are at home, pacing back and forth akin to Rilke’s panther, going mad. What would you do?


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Robert Peate

Robert Peate

Thought needs the most provoking.