I've been plugging away at the novel and I've written, ostensibly, half of it. Of course, it was only in the last few days that I think I've figured out how the overall structure is going to hold together and how it's going to end --- which means I've got to go back over everything I've written, and revise and rewrite. Oh boy.

This is not to say many of these details and plot points won't change further in the (re)writing as well.

It's very organic, this fiction-writing thing. When I reread "Lighthouse", my short story that was published last year in the collection Balik Kampung, I can't retrace its genesis anymore. I know there were deliberate decisions I made at certain points to make the story go this way or that, but now that almost a year has elapsed since I finished it, I can't go back and unpick the tale and explain how or why I wrote certain bits the way I did. I kept a writing journal (which is one of the best suggestions I ever picked up, from Alexander Chee), but nothing can fully capture all the twists and turns in the mind as a story is being kneaded into shape.

I wonder what I'll think of this novel manuscript, one year from now.



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