"The first draft of anything is shit."
That makes me feel so much better.
Well, the great reconstruction -- the
reckless slash-and-burn, um, that is, the careful re-reading, editing, re-writing and general whipping into shape of the old ms and copying it into a new document -- is at an end. There are several dozen pages that didn't make the cut (my page count is significantly lower than when I started, which is disheartening), but they needed to go. There are also a few dozen pages I've written that go at the very end and that won't get added until I actually reach the end. Yes, I've written the ending. And I like it. For now.
Going through this painstaking process of reconstruction has been an educational experience. I can see where there are great gaping holes in the plot and where things need clarification and expansion. The story needs more action and more suspense and more conflict -- no, that's not quite accurate. All of those things are there in the story, I just haven't yet managed to put them on the page.
Interestingly, there is a lot more sexual tension than I remember writing. Oh well. Still, this is not a romance. I've never been all that interested in the fictional romantic Happily Ever After and there won't be one in this book. I'm fascinated by the journey -- if these characters survive that, they can go off and do whatever else they want with the rest of their lives. Really.
So. Now comes the hard part. The slow part. The agonizing process of pulling pure crap out of the murky depths and boldly exposing it, slapping the stinking fetid mess of it onto the blinding white scrutiny of the page. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any other way to write the rest of the story.
What the hell, if it worked for Hemmingway . . .