I’m still playing around with the heart metaphor. Heart can be used in another way, as in center. And maybe that’s part of my struggle right now as I end this second draft of the novel and go to the third.
I imagine different hearts of the novel, different centers, and I try to organically get to one, but I don’t think I have yet. I mean I have several ideas about what might be at the heart of this novel, but they’re not entirely clear to me.
This could be a novel about someone who doesn’t fit into his world and is trying to fit in-- but it isn’t that novel now. It needs a lot of change to get there, change that must begin in the beginning. A novel has to be connected, has to have a current, from the start. And that means I’d be changing a lot in this next draft to make that identity problem THE HEART of the novel though could be this: he wants to fit but he doesn't.
Structure is always a struggle for me. If a novel becomes fragmented by an unclear center then it’s hard for it to keep that narrative momentum it needs. A novel needs to advance—characters have to change and narrative deepen-- or the reader gets bored.
Or so I think today.