A year has passed since I wrote my note

3 01 2013

You know that second novel? The one that needed just one, final, editorial swipe before I sent it out to. . . whom/wherever, never to be heard from again?

It’s been over a year since I began that one, final, editorial swipe.

Yeah.

I hauled it out of cold storage a coupla’ nights ago, and had to click around to make sure that I was working on the latest file because, y’know, it couldn’t have been since October 2011 that I last opened Home Away Home. Yeesh.

And it’s stupid, because while I’ve caught a few typos and made a few minor revisions here and there, there are only 2-4 spots where major revisions are required, and each of those 2-4 spots is maybe 1000, 1500 words long.

Now, those spots are crucial dialogues—the plausibility of the plot can be said to hang on believability that first dialogue, and the reader’s sense of the characters requires that the other dialogues sound like they’re coming from the characters and not from, well, me—but MAN, holding up a 152,000-word manuscript because I can’t shake loose 5000 good words?

Damn.

So that’s what I’ve been doing—not, y’know, panning for those 5000 words, but checking over the other 147,000 words to make sure that those, at least, are settled. Then I’ll hunker down with those last bits and sift and swirl and go round and round until I find the pieces that fit, until everything fits.

I’ll be damned if that takes me another year.

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5 responses

3 01 2013
BJ

Hey; you need a push? I’m waiting!

Can’t find a good book that I’m excited about. I’m reading Lincoln biographies, trying to discover the guy in the movie. That’s not my ideal genre, and I’m not finding him. Give me something good to read. Anything.

And, happy new year by the way. An arbitrary holiday maybe, but one we can all get behind.

4 01 2013
6 01 2013
absurdbeats

BJ, have you read Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway? If you like caper stories—if, say, you enjoyed Cryptonomicon, or Gaiman and Patchett’s Good Omens—you’d probably like the sensibility of the story.

I also recently picked up The Beauty and the Sorrow, non-fic about WWI, as well as Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland. And while I was a bit disappointed in The Swerve, I still thought it worth reading.

11 01 2013
dontjudgeaduckbyitscover

Sometimes it takes a year to process your thoughts enough to come back to your manuscript like a stranger to it. It’s like a baby to you while you’re writing it, you know every word – you MADE every word – which makes a self-edit hard because you’re so close to it. When a whole year passes, you forget lots about your baby, so you can pick up the highs and the lows much easier.

Congrats on putting the pen to paper to get to 152,000 words! I’m at 11,000 and the end feels sooo far away!

16 01 2013
geekhiker

Were you going to have any friends or fellow authors read the work before sending it out? It might be good to do so, even with the two sections you’re not comfortable with. Just don’t tell them which two sections. You may find that a) those sections may not be as in need of work as you think they are or that b) your readers might have the perfect suggestions on how to make them work since they’re not as close to the work. Just a thought…

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