Posts tagged ‘Tesora’

May 9, 2017

Excerpt from Tesora, a novel

Tesora

From Tesora

I look at her hands
on my hands
on her stomach.
A baby.
I hope to see
into the future,
but all I see is
the basket of shadows
the lamplight makes
of our fingers.

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January 10, 2013

From Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stephenson

Painting by N. C. Wyeth

Painting by N. C. Wyeth

The fire lit in me when I first read the novel as a boy, was
extinguished when I finished my own novel, Tesora.
Reading it now, however, allows me to sail again,
back to my own boyhood days—to find the treasures
of adventure and good writing.

From Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stephenson:

“Livesey,” said the squire, “you will give up this wretched practice at once. Tomorrow I start for Bristol. In three weeks’ time—three weeks!—two weeks—ten days—we’ll have the best ship, sir, and the choicest crew in England. Hawkins shall come as cabin-boy. You’ll make a famous cabin-boy, Hawkins. You, Livesey, are ship’s doctor; I am admiral. We’ll take Redruth, Joyce, and Hunter. We’ll have favourable winds, a quick passage, and not the least difficulty in finding the spot, and money to eat, to roll in, to play duck and drake with ever after.”

May 31, 2012

Re-Writing “Tesora” The Final Post

Hello Novel-Eaters,

Have a potato. OK, I stayed up all night, so what. But I got the re-writing of Tesora done at about 4:11 a.m. Thanks to RenĂ©e Watanabe and Alexandra Vega for the tough criticism that made it possible. It may not be better now, but I like it. I’ll wait a few days or a few hours and edit the whole thing together like a crazy quilt turned into a Grandma’s delight . . . or something. Now I hope some agent will enjoy reading it. That’s the big project next. Thanks for reading all the silly poetry I use to take a break from the speeding 80,000-word train in my life. Keep in touch.

— David

December 3, 2011

Where is the balance in a novel between telling and showing?

One of my first-draft readers of Tesora sent me this note:
“The concept of your story is very promising . . . what draws me in is the promise of adventure. The first chapter reeled me in because it had a nice amount of action but afterward I felt like the story was being “told” rather than “shown” so I had a really hard time getting into the story.”

This was my answer to her:
Yes, I know my novel does not sustain the level of action that Chapter 1 shows: it’s a book with a full range of rhythms. Some are dramatic, of course, but many are psychological or meditative. To me, the thought-process of a main character is important action. The story was never intended to be only an adventure: it concerns slavery and racism and an accurate historical context. Also, the whole conceit of the story is that it’s a book adapted from the journals Ronan (its main character) keeps aboard his boat. After Ronan’s arrival in Puerto Toque (page 50 or so), there is also much dialog—and that is a form of both action and contemplation. For me the best reading is in stories where I learn the depths of a character, in mind and history, as well as action. When I was young I read and re-read books to rediscover not just events in motion, but what Borges calls “emotion in books.” Huckleberry Finn opens with a recitation of the plot of the novel, Tom Sawyer. At the bottom of page one of Mysterious Island by Jules Verne reads an extended weather report. Notes from Underground is 95% internal monologue. I find stories with ceaseless action to be dreary. I’d rather sit and watch Rodin’s Thinker think for ten minutes, than watch 1,000 marathon runners go by. While I don’t think novels have to compete with movies for action, nevertheless, I am reexamining my story to better dramatize the story. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning about writing, nor will I want to stop.

October 27, 2011

I Know, a song by Sara Tavares

If I fly, I do not know where
If I walk, not knowing who I am
if I speak, and the voice sounds with the morning
I know . . .
If I drink this light that goes out on me at night,
And if one day I say I no longer want to be here,
Only God knows what he saw,
Only God knows what will be,
There is no other who knows everything that happens to me.
If sorrow is deeper than the pain
If this is no longer the flavor
And to think that all this already I thought
I know . . .
If I drink this light that goes out on me at night,
And if one day I say I no longer want to be here,
the uncertainty of knowing what to do, what to want,
Even without ever thinking that one day you’ll think
There is no other who knows everything that happens to me.

[link to song is here: I Know, a song by Sara Tavares]

October 13, 2011

Why “The Cats Table,” by Michael Ondaatje Is Not an Interesting Novel

When I read about this novel, I struck by some of its similarities to my own most recent works, Tardy Son and Tesora. I read an excerpt from his latest novel to find out. But I found that it’s all written from a remote adult’s POV with indulgent explanations about the boy with very little emotional or psychological understanding of him. That may have been all right with The English Patient, but not with this one. Instead of the writing being alive like a teenaged boy is, it’s petrified and dusty and conclusive. Life for a boy of that age might be dangerous in this situation, but it is not boring. He doesn’t seek out answers ontologically. A boy looks for gold and squished bugs and is obsessively optimistic.

It seems the closer a subject is to mine, the further the writing is apart from my style. Here’s a link to a NYTimes review of his new novel.

September 27, 2011

The Cover for Tesora, designed by Anne Abrams

August 24, 2011

A Final Rough Draft of Tesora Is Done.

Wrote a rough draft of my Caribbean story of love and slavery. Took a week off. Re-wrote Chapter 18, edited to the rest. The release date of the beta-read manuscript is tomorrow. Beta readers, start your engines. Enjoy.

August 4, 2011

Tesora refuses to end itself

Still slogging through the end of the rough draft of my novel, Tesora. The plot must be complete for me to give it a rest, so there is yet no rest for me. It’s hard to finish a story that concerns slavery. And it’s hard to let go of characters I’ve grown to love. Stay tuned. I will finish it.

July 24, 2011

Almost finished with the Tesora rough draft

I’m on a final push to finish my manuscript for the novel, so I haven’t posted in a while and I probably won’t post again for another week or two. After that, I will post some new things from the novel. Thanks.

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