THE END IS NO END
Rewrites on that final 50 pages actually ended up being a lot more extensive than I had thought. I beefed up the scene with Lenny, to make him appear more for a reason, rather than a cute cameo of someone else from Cut My Hair, and I finally gave in to my instincts and cut two chapters completely. The first I was worried was redundant, and I finally accepted that it was and that I could collapse it into the other piece and make it all one.
The other was the entire epilogue. I like what I was trying to say in it, which is why I hung onto it right up until the end. I was going to keep it and see how my test subjects reacted to it when they read it, but it kept haunting me. You can't ignore those nagging voices. The epilogue distracted from the end of the story proper, and I think it ended up leaving the reader on the wrong note--so it's gone now. It's funny, because there was a similar element removed from the lst paragraph of Cut My Hair, a little tidbit that brings the reader around to remind them that it's a specific person's story. I guess in both cases it ended up being just something for me.
I also discovered the downside of beginning your book in one version of Word and then upgrading your computer in the middle. When you begin merging files, they go all whacky. (Thanks to James for being on IM when I was going crazy, and Keith for making my pdf.) Perhaps it was for the best, though, since I found some narrative tense problems in one of the storytelling techniques. In one of the styles I was using, I started by using past tense, but then shifted to present midway. So, fixed that.
Cuts combined with rewrites put final word count at 178,250. To get some perspective, I found my CD with the draft of Cut My Hair I submitted to the graphic designer that set up the to-print file. My first novel settled in at 70,000 words. It's kind of staggering to consider the scope of this second book. 150% more prose.
I did a final one disc mix of the reading soundtrack to. The track list only contains one song that was not on previous lists (the Bjork), and is as follows:
Manic Street Preachers - "The Everlasting"
Mansun - "Legacy"
Tindersticks - "The Not Knowing"
Lara Michell - "Crimson Flag"
Paul Weller - "Woodcutter's Son"
Kim Weston - "Helpless"
Embrace - "My Weakness Is None of Your Business"
Gene - "Why I Was Born"
The Style Council - "Waiting"
Bjork - "Like Someone In Love"
Low - "Will The Night (Demo)"
The Style Council - "Why I Went Missing"
The Jam - "The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)"
Primal Scream - "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have"
James - "Blue Pastures"
Manic Street Preachers - "The Everlasting (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Mix)"
Gene - "You'll Never Walk Again"
Oh, and look! In creating the Amazon button for Cut My Hair you see below, I discovered Barry Wolborsky posted a new review of the book. Click the button and check it out. It's very nice of him, seeing as how I spent an entire evening in Christine Norrie's house without ever realizing it was that Barry. And it's much better than the person whose review precedes his, pouting that it wasn't no durn comic book. Amusingly, if you follow the links to that reviewer's other reviews, you'll see he only ever posts to complain. Like, say, how his Harry Potter costume wasn't nearly as cool as he thought it would be.
Current Soundtrack: Inspiral Carpets, "Dragging Me Down" CDS; Herman's Hermits, "The End of the World"
[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2004 Jamie S. Rich