revisiting a sane woman

I’m rereading A Sane Woman (my first novel). I haven’t read it in a while, so I’ve been surprised by a few things.

It’s funnier than I remembered. Not all the way through — some parts are quite serious — but I laughed more than I expected to.

Punctuation was not my strong suit back then. Sigh. I’ll say no more about that.

There were a few continuity glitches (not within the book, but in relation to everything that’s come since). Oh, well. That’s going to happen when you write serial fiction about the same world for almost a quarter of a century.

I found four typos, and I fixed them in the HTML version (typos always get fixed, even though the book is officially finished).

But here’s my favorite thing I found — my favorite because I hadn’t really thought about it before:

There’s a teenage girl, shy, awkward and bookish, living in a small town. There’s also a tough guy, a rather alienated and possibly violent boy from the wrong side of the tracks. They become friends, and later lovers.

And they don’t end up together! They are together, briefly, and then they both move on!

You know, like happens in life. Almost never in fiction, obviously, but all the time in the real world.

I wasn’t setting out to go right up against the romantic novel cliches, but it pleases me no end that I did.

A Sane Woman is available in print here, and in an HTML file (specially formatted for e-readers as well as screens) here.

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4 Responses to revisiting a sane woman

  1. Maggie says:

    I love it when stories defy the usual cliches, especially when you didn’t specifically set out to do that. 🙂

    • I don’t mind subverting expectations, but I always feel that if you set out to deliberately go against cliches you’re as trapped by them as you are if you go along with them (I’m talking about novels and stories — if would be different if you were writing comedy sketches or something like that).

  2. SB Roberts says:

    I love it when those sorts of unexpected things happen. They make the story feel so much more real.

    By the way, I love the chronology of the story. Moving backwards through time and discovering things about characters in that manner has a certain thrill to it. Like the sort of thrill that comes from seeing a familiar name in The Silmarillion, though obviously it’s a bit different. It’s just a hard thrill to describe. : )

    • Well, Tolkien was a really big influence on me. Not in terms of content (you’ve probably noticed that 🙂 ), but he was a great example of how you can devote your entire writing life to creating and exploring one world — which is pretty much what I do.

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