Four weeks, and we have about 150 pages!
It’s been a fantastic journey through the 18 hundreds and the two old friends, the artist and the family father, and their friendship since boyhood and long into old age.
We ended up with three distinct parts, first with their 30s and 40s as a period of a young adult life with a growing family and authorship, and then about a decade with the artist/writer in Venice, and the family man/adventurer in America. In the last part they’re back in their home town, in a more sunny and tranquil part of their lives, but still full of life and energy.
We’ll let the finished draft rest now for a few weeks, the edit and revise.
Immediate thoughts about the project:
The Venice part is one of the most pleasant we’ve written, ever. Pure bliss, beauty, and a more visual and auditive part of the book. Experimenting with similes of sounds, and the repeating theme of a string quartet in part to symbolize the timelessness of music, and to some extent life in older, beautiful cities.
The old part of their lives ended up a lot more bright and energetic than planned. In the opening of the book, when they meet each other in a square as eighty year olds, it might seem like their life is “over” and they are only reminiscing a lived life, but in the last chapter, the framing has changed. This is one of the beauties of the writing process. After 150 pages you know their story and have lived through their lives, and know the people in your book a lot better. And the adjusted ending leaves the book on more of a high note.
Having a backdrop of real history is both a great help for a natural progression and drive in the book, but it could be tricky to find the right balance. In this case there is a gradual argument that the good life is more in the world that you create for yourself, as time goes on. Exemplified in this book as an artist’s life work, or a family man with his children and grand children.
Some chapters are more artistic than others. Sometimes there are things to be explained and described for the progress of the story, other chapters become pure poetic bubbles for their own value, but also to illustrate contrasts in life.
More thoughts later, thanks for reading!