In my late night musings, I asked myself why the image created by the words I quoted below seemed to be so important. It didn’t take me long to find the answer. Mateguas Island is, at its core, the story of a woman trying, against all odds, to keep the things that are important to her from breaking apart – her marriage, her family. She does this even though it may conflict with her own personal longings and fulfillment. And, while it is a horror/supernatural element that drives much of the action in the novel, it is her journey of discovery that is at its essence.
“As he turned to go back to the family room, he stopped in the doorway and gazed at his wife. She still sat in the chair by the window. Her eyes were closed and her arms were tightly wound around her body as if she were trying to keep herself from breaking apart. He thought about waking her, but decided not to.”
The above shows the value of self-editing. That line was nowhere in Mateguas before my last read through. It came to be when I’d decided to move some of my backstory to a place further on in the novel and change most of it to remembered dialogue. Somewhere in that process, the above image came to me. I love it.
Mateguas Island, my baby, is now 1 year old! Yes, it was sometime mid-April of last year that I sat down with my iPad and began writing what was then entitled, “The Wisp on the Wind”. It was going to be one of those evil house stories. Oh, how it changed!
I’ve enrolled in a course online called “The Knockout Novel” and we’ll see where that takes me. I can use it for any novel or for multiple novels. I’ve started it and think it might be very useful when beginning a work. I’m not sure how it will work for Mateguas since that novel is pretty complete. But, we’ll see.