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 ...