Young Geoffrey (ed_rex) wrote,
Young Geoffrey

[from] The Horror. The Horror. Re-visiting One's Youth

I have, ostensibly, been working on a novel for 10 years. It began as merely the introductory section of an entirely different work, something that was supposed to be, maybe, 5,000 words, to cover the childhood of Ashera, a character who has appeared in a few of my short stories and whose story I wanted to tell.

But another character, an big, angry woman named Phil, took over the book and I had no choice but to forget for the time being, my original intention.

Anyway. I digress. I finished the book in relatively short order; showed it to a couple of people, then set in to revise it. The second draft was done late in 1992.

Since then, I have extensively re-worked the first 6 chapters, then found myself blocked, unable to "fix" the middle section. (And, yes, I have completely abandoned the project for months, and occasionally, for a year or more, at a time.)

Well. My website is up, looks pretty good and does contain some new work - but no new fiction.

A couple of weeks ago, I pulled out the rumpled and ink-stained copy of draft #2, fully intending to read through it in one, or at most, two, sessions, then more carefully go at it again, in order to begin the painful process of revision.

But - my god! - so much of it was so terrible, I was unable to take it in without breaks in between. The night I finished it, I was at my local watering-hole, muttering away such pithy phrases as, "God! This is horrible!" or "This is awful!" Alone, I was nevertheless embarrassed by a lot of what I read.

It wasn't all bad (and thank god for small mercies), not beyond repair, but it was obvious that I had not thought it through nearly enough. With the exception of Phil herself, the characters were thinner than cardboard; the plot (such as it was) made little sense; and a lot of it was just plain silly.

Bloody hell of a lot of work ahead ...

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