I’m writing a novella about Mari and Jack into fiction at a class at Dartmouth this term. It’s really fun and helps to develop both characters and their story. The novella, because it’s restricted in length and scope, deals only with their relationship – not Jack’s hitchhiking adventures or the side plots of families and friends.
Here’s what my professor had to say about the draft of the Novella:
Mari floats with Jack above normal reality. It’s persuasive, credible. Mari goes with Jack through many changing circumstances. He’s really getting around.
She has her own way of looking at her experience. She’s open, carefree, amoral. She’s into the erotic life. It’s good.
Colette as a writer in her stories is not hampered by moralism. She doesn’t give a damn. It’s good as a writer to be amoral. Be a good citizen but an amoral writer. Living with Jack is being in a different realm. It’s not tame. It’s not the campus; it’s the hillsides.
As a reader, we respect her way of doing things; we go along for the ride.
(I substitute the word “normal” for “amoral” in the title. But that’s my writer’s take!)