I am a wise mentor-type figure

On the Amtrak to New Haven, where I’m visiting a friend. Was going to go through more pages of my book, when the woman next to me said, “Excuse me, is that fiction?”

I said, “Yep, I’m a novelist.”

“Oh, wow, do you mind? I’ve been working on a novel for years, and I just have this practical question about…”

And then we spent the next two and a half hours discussing her novel. It was awesome. I enjoy digging into peoples’ novels and tearing apart the structure. I’m sure that at some point this will no longer be interesting to me, but for now it’s great. I feel as though I learn a lot when I try to think about what is and what isn’t working in someone else’s novel. And since in two weeks I’m going to be teaching a novel-writing class to a bunch of high schoolers, it was a good chance to test out a bit of my new pedagogical method.

My own novel-revising is painfully slow! Five thousand words have been cut from the book, and I have 49 pages left to go through. My hopes of finishing by the end of the 2015 have been painfully dashed! But I hopefully have less than a week left.

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