atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1118: I feel a rewrite coming on.

I've been talking about my story set at a fictional technical college in the Pacific northwest a lot of late, because it's been on my mind a lot. And having re-read it this past weekend, I'm starting to consider rewriting it.

I am reluctant to do so for only one reason: I'm worried that I'll lose the flavor of it. The story won't work with stodgier prose; it has to be a bit rough around the edges--swear words and all, it must sound as if it's being written by a college-age guy. I find myself fearing that I'll eradicate the things that make the story special by rewriting it.

But it's missing so much. Before I re-read it, I was recalling several things that aren't in this version; they're in the previous version, and I'm not entirely sure why they didn't make it into the rewrite. (I last worked on this story 12 years ago.) A surprising number of things are missing; and because the format of the novel is a series of connected episodes, I should be able to integrate these elements without harming the flow of the plot. Perhaps they might even enhance it.

No: my worry is the tone, not the plot and flow.

...and I never even came up with a title for the thing, either.

So what I may do is start a provisional rewrite of it: start chewing through it and see where it leads me, see how well I keep the flavor of the original, and so on. If it turns out well, finish it; if it fails, abandon it.

I've done this before. I have another story (from about the same time period) that I started rewriting in 1997, and abandoned when I realized that it was getting all screwed up. Now I've got a much better version of it in rewrite, though it's stalled for the past six months as I've been unable to write any fiction whatsoever. (*sigh*)

I suppose if I was someone like Tom Clancy, who gets paid zillions of dollars for each book he produces, I could probably do it full time and not have any trouble at all. Money is the ultimate in validation; if you can look at your palatial estate and then at the books on your shelves with your name on 'em, and realize those books paid for the estate-- But I'm not Tom Clancy, and any illusions I had about any story of mine ever making me money died when I was still in seventh grade. I would like to be a best-selling author; but the odds are rather squarely against me. (That's okay, though. I write for me first anyway.)

But having reread the story, I've concluded that it's good, even so. I could clean it up and submit it to someone, just to see if anything happens, as it is. But I want to see, first, if the other elements can be added to it.

The stories that I've been grooming for this place have also stalled, which is why you haven't seen anything since Singularity and Metheuselah. Sorry about that. This is another reason why I have to have a day (well, a night) job: I can't write to order. Damn, how I wish I could....

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