Friday, November 4, 2011


I'm so happy.

Yesterday, I finished first revision of part one. (My novel has 3 parts.) I guess I never really believed it would get done.

I'm close to the tentative schedule I'd set a month or two ago: to finish first revision by the end of this year. Part one took  almost 5 weeks, starting Oct. 1. So I'm about a week behind. At this rate I'll be done with this revision early next year, which isn't too bad. Rushing is counter-productive.

In the dim and distant past, when I presented early chapters (early in two senses) to my writers' group in Texas, there was some feeling, very polite, that things were a little disjointed and hard to follow.

Part of this disjointedness came from presentation one chapter at a time, with two or more weeks intervening between chapters. I told myself that this was entirely the problem. After all, I knew exactly what was happening in my novel and where it was going.

But now that I've finished this round of revision, I can see what they were saying. I've run into all kinds of disjointedness all over the place. That's a lot of what I've been fixing, on this run-through.

I feel like a mechanic. Get this fixed, then get that fixed.

I feel like a visionary. Seeing what isn't there, but is there somewhere in another universe. Gaps that need to be filled, and the material that needs to fill them. A physicist, perhaps, on the hunt for that elusive dark matter.

I feel like a sewage specialist. Getting rid of you-know-what. It's such a good feeling to get rid of  over-written text that doesn't really say anything, or needlessly repeats stuff that's already been said.

Along the same lines, I feel like a butcher, excising tripe. Except that the butcher sells his tripe, whereas my tripe goes in the trash. (Well, it still exists in the heaven of earlier versions which are saved on my computer.)

Meanwhile, I should work on a blog post on Abydos. I finally went on Saturday. A useful visit.

But I'd rather gloat over having struggled through the flotsam and jetsam of my first draft (part one, that is), swimming to the shore of a version that is tight and has momentum. And then, sometime next year, I'll discover it's just a sandbank, and that I won't reach land until I've done more revision.

Onward and upward! The first chapter of part 2 is "on deck" (a baseball term, for Brits and others who don't know what that is--a team member who's ready to come up to bat next is "on deck".) In other words, it's minimized at the bottom of my computer screen.

1 comment:

  1. I don't envy you, I'm certain it's a difficult process to complete. As for me I am continually drawn to return to Egypt.