Monday, June 21, 2010
It really exists. Honest.
I won't try to pin the slowness of my completing this novel (which everybody's probably sick of my talking about, and which I'm sicker of than anybody) on all the real-life things that take a lot of my time. Some do, but I'd write at a snail's pace anyway.
It's not really a mystery story. A fairly attentive reader could figure out what the deal is very early, and that's the way I wanted it. But it's a plot with mystery elements, where events have to hide the true nature of what's going on, and to mislead some of the characters, and, honest, I'm probably too ADD to write stuff like this. There's too much to keep track of.
Every time I polish off another draft, I truly think it's done. I print up a copy and plan to read through it for typos and minor problems, sure that they'll be quick fixes and that I'll be hitting the "Make it public" button very soon. The picture shows 4 different drafts, going back a couple years.
This print-up is both a self-indulgence -- seeing it as a real book is like a reward, and I need that reinforcement -- and useful, because it's a lot easier to edit. I can catch typos much better in this format.
But then I find, not only typos, but true plot holes. Really really bad things, like an event.... followed by a chapter describing changes caused by that event that develop over a week's time.... only I kinda forgot that I wrote the chapter to take place only a day later.
It's not that these goofs are hard to fix. They're pretty easy. The problem is that I find them after so many re-readings that I fear other screwups/anachronisms/etc., will be lurking there even when I think I've caught and fixed them all. Readers will catch them right away and say, "That's ridiculous." The New Yorker magazine will feature me in one of their "Our Forgetful Authors" dingbats....
That's a joke. Twenty people might read this book if I get really lucky.
Anyway, I thought I'd show yall, right here, the true, actual, verified existence of the thing! See? There it is! It's real. Lousy, but real. And I'm certain that this next read-through and cleanup will be the final one......
I hope. Because I can't "system restore" this miserable, soundless, freeze-and-crash computer till it's done.