After a thirty-six hour productivity trip, I blasted through the last quarter of We Ran Anyway's hard-copy edits. It was good. Well, the experience of editing was--though the writing tends to leave something to be desired, for the most part.
I think I went too far with the whole "be vague" thing in the style. Perhaps if I were more masterful, I'd have been able to achieve it, but instead it's just taking a lot of editing to strike some balance (i.e. preserve the style, but make it comprehendible). And maybe it isn't even quite there yet. Granted, I need to actually type up the edits (which will lead to even more changes) before I can make a judgement regarding the book's current state. I guess the prose is okay; it's just a little lacking cohesion (this lack is the point, I know, but is it not also bad writing?)
It's all improving, though. The fact that I am always noticing new mistakes, and making new judgment calls on my writing's quality, means that I am improving. I am growing. That is all I can ask for. And I suppose the book is okay, and writing it sure as fuck helped me out during a long period of mental instability, so it's paid off one way or another. I do not have high expectations for its publication, nor its mass-consumption, but I love it sort of, and it did good things for me when I needed it to. In a way, it still does those good things.
DOT POINTS I HAVE TAKEN AWAY SO FAR FROM THIS EDIT:
- Kill your darlings. Really, really kill them. Fuck beauty if it has nothing to do with the story. Stop jerking off over how great you are. Seriously, stop that. You're lonely.
- Explain things. But not too much. Just a little. Enough so we get it. (Is that clear???)
- Tie each facet of your writing together, somehow. Throwaway scenes can be nice, but ring hollow to an author/critic, even though they might read okay and be fun. But they are hollow pieces of fun. And so it goes that scenes of this nature play out a little like binge drinking: okay at the time, but you're always left to wonder what the point was once it's over.
Can't stop. Won't stop. Don't know how to stop.