Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Revising My Novel

I'm actually at it again, a novel I wrote back in 2001-2002. I wrote the last half, or a little more, in a state of productive bliss over three-four months, right after I finished grad school and right after I was married. I was so productive because my new bride was floating me while I finished the thing, you see. So I finished a draft and a quickish revision, just to make it more or less coherent. Then life got to going really, really fast (and really really wonderful, natch), and though I've been over the book a couple of times since, I haven't really settled in to fix it up and get it out -- until now.

I recommend one of these here OLPC laptops for blocked/non-working writers. Having a truly convenient, ultra-portable computer lit a fire under me anyway (once I got most of the geek drool out of my system). You can't buy one right now (the Give One Get One program is over), but the Asus Eee looks similarly portable, and it's faster too (but non-miraculous screen and battery).

Anyhow, it's a weird experience coming back to the novel after so long. First, it doesn't seem that long to me, despite my having been awake for most of the last four years. Second, there's the whole critical distance thing. I've forgotten enough of it that I don't think I'm much fooled by my conception of what's going on. I'm reading what's on the page, not what I intended to put on the page.

And what am I finding? A bit of a roller coaster. I went to bed last night thinking it was complete shit, because a good chunk of what I read last night will have to be chucked so I can take another run at it. But the stuff I read tonight? Good stuff! If I picked this up in a bookstore, I'd want to read more. And where it isn't working, I've got some good ideas for how to fix it. So I'm taking notes and reading on.

It feels really good to be working again. I'm excited about this novel and about ideas I have for the next one. Now I'm going to drink a beer and read for a while.


  1. Imported on behalf of: Mike Jasper
    Cool news, man! Looking forward to hearing (and reading?) more!

  2. Imported on behalf of: Lee
    Thanks. I'll try to keep you posted.