Monday, February 19, 2007

Another 17 down. 300-something more to go.

I dusted off the editing work last night, pushing my way through another 17 pages on the novel, bringing me to page 67 and nearly the end of chapter two. During a break in the editing, I hit the computer to print chapter three, which runs from page 67 to 97, and approximately one quarter of the novel.

Looking ahead at future editing work on the first half of the book, there's one lengthy section in the first chapter that needs a from-scratch rewrite that I haven't sat down to do yet, and another entire chapter near the end that needs to be created from scratch (when I was originally working on the book, I leapt ahead to the second half, as the first half was beginning to depress the hell out of me).

All of this work followed a dish-washing binge. Because, for reasons I could only begin to guess, I was in a super-productive mode last night.

While doing the editing work, I was listening to what I sort of consider the spiritual soundtrack to the novel, Leonard Cohen's "The Future." It's from that album that I yanked the quotes that open the first part, the second part, and the epilogue of the novel. But while editing, with the songs I had quoted drifting into my head in the background, a further idea occurred to me.

I realized that, instead of *just* using quotations from the songs, it would actually be appropriate to retitle those section based on sections from the quotations.

I rolled the idea around in my head for a bit, and found that I liked these section titles far, far better than what I had originally planned to use, so I made the official change to the manuscript.

And so, the section titles are broken down as such:

Part One: The Awful Truth
Part Two: The Miracle
Epilogue: The Light Gets In

These titles replace the originals, which were:

Part One: Faith
Part Two: Truth
Epilogue: Happily Ever After

And this is why I generally don't title things until I'm finished them. Because it isn't until I'm finished that I really know what it is I'm writing.

It's also nice to know that these sorts of random, sudden, overwhelming moments of inspiration are still able to make an appearance, even after 95% of the creation work is done, and I'm the middle of the more clinical editing stage.

Here's hoping that there's still a little bit of that inspiration left for when it comes time to do those few bits of from-scratch writing. I'm beginning to *feel* the narrator's voice again, just from reading it, so it shouldn't be too hard to sit down and find my way back into his head for those few sections. But it'd be an added bonus if those new sections were particularly inspired. Of course.

Oh, and over the course of last night's editing, I actually came across a section that seemed solid enough to post here. Taken from a scene at a funeral...

And then, I did need to be beside her, and hold her, and let her cry onto my shoulder as I cried into hers, pressing ourselves together, unaware of anything outside of us except the other, closing our eyes to the world around us, and the universe beyond that, making a new universe that would exist only of she and I, where no one died and love was eternal and just wanting something bad enough was all it took to make it happen.

And then dirt was being thrown, and the sobs came a little more loudly while the droning holy man quieted, and people started milling around, moving to comfort those they knew and cared about, because it was all over now except the mourning.

That's all for now. Cheerio.

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