Back in Love Again
I’ve lived with my novel Home Front through several years of writing and editing. I’ve fallen in love with it, gotten impatient with it, never wanted to see it again, thought about it with excitement at my first waking and crawled into bed exhausted by it. Like every relationship, my novel and I have had our ups and down.
I’m back in the love stage.
My manuscript is small by some standards; just a bit over 60,000 words. So, I’ve added a couple of chapters of backstory on a secondary character. Before this last re-write, that character (although interesting in his own way) was a device–a minor antagonist to add conflict to the novel. But, as I wrote of his life I started to like this character. He’s mean, uneducated and boisterous. But, I allowed him to show me why. He is, like most of us, full of vulnerability.
Then there’s a pivotal scene towards the end of the novel where my female protagonist explains how she has come to make a decision that plagues her throughout the novel. I’d edited this chapter several times, so when I recently looked at it again, it was as a reader. When I got to the end of the chapter, I cried.
I hope this story has an emotional impact for others. Although it is a story set during World War II and deals with the bitterness some black soldiers felt at their second-class treatment during this war, it is ultimately a love story with a couple of surprising twists.