I’ve started to work on my novel. I’d set it aside for about two months, as per Steven King’s advice, but am now suddenly eager to start fixing it up and making it presentable. Due to the flux and change in my life recently, the ups and downs and lack of a quiet space to call my own and which to work in, I’ve not been writing, but now I’ve decided to simply stay late at the office and work on it here.
It’s like a big old crazy house. Mostly it stands straight and you can recognize it for what it is. There’s a front door, a living room, bedrooms on the second floor, yard out back. But the walls aren’t quite straight, and some rooms are just off, if not downright bizarre. Bits and pieces of brick are littered everywhere, and some places the walls are twice as thick as they should be. Corridors don’t always go where they should, and the roof leaks and sags. But it’s got character, maybe even some charm, and as I stand before it, I like what I see, even though I realize it needs a hell of a lot of work.
So how to go about it? Do some housecleaning, dust and sweep and polish and leave the canted corners and structural flaws there? Or wade in with a hammer, blasting down the errors and shoring up the holes? I think (following a conversation with my friend Mike Dougan), that I’ll sweep up some, maybe patch up the major holes, and then send it out, quirky and out of joint as it may be. My friends will eye the whole, and then point out what works and what doesn’t. From there I’ll dive back in, tear it apart, cement it back together, and see what’s left standing when I’m done.
I’m quite pleased with this house metaphor.
Either way, I finished Chapter 5 yesterday, and am now going to start edging into Chapter 6, which is possibly the last of the ‘safe’ chapters which need little to no serious editing. From 7 onwards I need to be on the lookout, ready to chop and slice and rethink decisions. Hopefully I’ll be done by the end of next week, and then I’ll mail the manuscript out to friends who’re up for taking a look. I’m fucking psyched.