I’ve put together a little schedule for finishing the first draft of In the Red, my second novel, this year. Thing is, I’m still thinking about Baby Grand. All the time. (Will I always, I wonder.) My AquaNotes have been getting a workout. I contacted my agent this week to ask if she thought one more round of revisions was in order — half-hoping, astonishing as that is, that she would say yes. (We will chat next week.) I”m currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has gotten me thinking about a few things I’d like to add to Baby Grand:
- A prologue: I thought about having one right from the start, but wasn’t sure if it would work. Right now, Baby Grand does not have a prologue, but I got an idea the other night for something suspenseful and pertinent. I was inspired by the five-page prologue of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which sucked me in and kept me reading despite the tediousness of the next forty or so pages. I realized the power of those first few pages of a novel.
- More geographical, upstate New York detail: I love the Swedish references — as difficult as they are to pronounce and read — of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the landscape, the industry, the politics. They made me start thinking about Baby Grand as a book that could possibly have an international audience. I thought that perhaps I should do upstate New York a little more justice, maybe even take another excursion up there.
- More historical detail: All the attention on Andrew Cuomo, the new governor of New York, and the State of the State address last week got me thinking again about the history of the Executive Mansion. Also, my son of late has been reading and rereading his American History textbook and asking all sorts of questions about the presidents, four of whom were governors of New York: Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The presidential trivia were some of my favorite details to write in Baby Grand, and I think I’d like to do some more of that.
- More character detail. For my villain, in particular.
So apparently I haven’t closed the book on Baby Grand and I have more to say, and that’s a good thing. Spending 28 days revising the novel in the fall, the first time, made the book meatier, the character portraits stronger and more interesting. My hope is that another round of revisions will make it even better.