|Nose to the Grindstone: More Revisions
||[Sep. 5th, 2009|10:12 pm]
I got back to work on the book this afternoon and evening, and re-discovered what a lousy writer I am in first draft. Of course, my standards are fairly high, but you'd think I'd notice when a sentence started acting like a kitten tangled in a ball of yarn. On and on with increasing separation between subject and verb and many intervening clauses, phrases, parenthetical bits, etc. (The solution's easy at least. Stab one of those commas with a fork and turn it into a period. Do it again--and again--until there's a nice, readable, flowing paragraph...) Then there's the half-page of stuff that was (on third thought) basically my hind-brain telling my forebrain what it needed to know, some stuff that is not necessary for readers (and certainly not then.)
And the fossils--the leftover things from an early draft that I never really looked at again. It's true that in the original draft of this particular chapter, it was winter. But it wasn't winter two drafts later, and hasn't been winter since...and yet, amid clear indications that it's not winter (leaves still on the trees) suddenly there's a description ot a garden in winter. But...it's not cold. It's early autumn. So I rewrote the garden scene (no leafless vines--which actually worked better as it was important not to see all the details of the wall. Yet) while shaking my head at having revised other parts of that section but failed to notice the seasonal disconnect.
Even more critical, for me, is understanding the deep logic of some things that happen in this book...I'm far enough into the whole story arc that I need to know why and how of things that happened (in book time) a thousand years ago. Because we're running into consequences.
Peeking ahead at the deadlines and knowing I missed a week of work with the Google Book Settlement thing, I am spending this holiday weekend (except for singing two services on Sunday) with a very fat print-out and an even fatter main file (since the print-out only goes to 615 pages, and the file goes a long way past that.) Next week, I'll try returning to first-drafting on the third book in the morning, while doing revisions on the second book in the afternoon...though at some point the page proofs of the first book will come roaring in. I want to get book two ready to hand my editor by mid-October, and then make a running leap into book three before she can give me her revisions. So it's time to crank up the old grindstone and apply the nose to it with some firmness.
But for now...off to the sack, as 6 am comes early.