Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Have Sworn To Move On

Scene: Last night, in the livingroom. Enter Me and Mighty Reader.

Me: So, I had this idea about the protagonist's motivation and I think I should rewrite the section where Act 4 ends and Act 5 starts. I don't think that I've quite nailed it and I had this sort of epiphany at work today and I think I can more clearly delineate his internal world and--

Mighty Reader: You're talking about the same book you just sent to your agent, right?

Me: Yeah, but it's a really good idea. See, the primary motivating force in his life has always been a sense that--

Mighty Reader: Oh, for God's sake.

Me: What?

Mighty Reader: You have got to start writing a new book. You have got to stop fussing with Killing Hamlet. Don't be the guy who rewrites the same book for the rest of his life. Just don't.

Me: But--

Mighty Reader: No, just don't. Move on, already. Write the Antarctica book. You keep saying how brilliant it's going to be. So write it already.

Me: (pause) Well. (pause) Okay.

Mighty Reader: (making a fist) I really mean it.


  1. ROFL!! This. Is. Awesome.

    Sounds like Might Reader really has your back.

    Now, go forth and conquer!

  2. Behind every great man is an even greater woman. Go Mighty Reader!

  3. Or, Anne, behind every great writer is a mighty reader. :)

    It's good advice, Scott. I know there's some literary cred that goes with being the guy who spends 45 years poring over the same gin-soaked manuscript in the closet of his cabin in the woods, pausing only to put tobacco in his pipe and talk to the trees, but... There are ways to build up cred.

    Scotch-soaked manuscripts, for instance.

    And talking to the wolves.

    And poring over *two* manuscripts for 45 years.

  4. ali: Mighty Reader can get past my guard, so I tend to listen to her directives. At lunch today I bought a new notebook and am working on an outline of the new book.

    Anne: Sometimes she's not beside me so much as she's in front of me, shaking her head.

    Justus: Why did it have to be snakes?

    Nevets: Yeah, I know, but I keep getting ideas, and then I can't rest until I've incorporated them into the book. But yeah, I know. There are plenty of other books to write, and I can't write them if I'm still working on Killing Hamlet. But see my reply to ali; I have moved on. Until I hear back from my agent, that is.

  5. And if the agent kicks it back to you, then you can go crazy on it again for a while.

    Good luck with the new book! I can only imagine what you might do with the the antarctic.

  6. Well, there will be penguins and icebergs and whiskey. And seals and killer whales. And an icebreaker, 28 men and a bunch of dogs. And pipes to smoke. And a woman named Lilly left behind in Manhattan and a guy named Tom who can't swim and hates being cold and an aging explorer with a secret. Did I mention penguins?

  7. I heard seals are the new eels.

  8. and penguins are the new sparkly vampires. WIN!

  9. Beam me up,

    I think you meant to say, "Why did it have to be eels?".

  10. Just know the book is a winner with all the eels in it, so yes, move on. You're as bad as me and my dumb Breakaway book...which I'm still going to rewrite AGAIN, by the way...

  11. Bless MR's heart. Yes. Move on. If you really can't let go of the change after the book comes back from your agent think about adding it then. OR. Talk to your agent about the change and see what he thinks. But. For now. Move on. Enjoy the new project. Let it flow.

  12. Okay. I should have read all the comments first. You've apparently moved on. The new project sounds fantastic. By all means, get to that one. Penguins are the new black.

  13. Lois: I have promised to do nothing with the MS until I hear back from Jeff. And I'm moving on to penguins. I already know a publisher who might be interested.

    J-Bow: You're very droll, sir.

  14. Scott, when did you stop cross-posting this blog to LiveJournal? I just now noticed. Have some catching up to do!

    Re: Moving On: The artist J.M.W. Turner was once caught in a gallery with a palette and brush fixing an area of one of his oil paintings which was on display to the public at the time. Please don't do this. Thanks.

    Re: Antarctica. I am saddened to hear this. I'm sure it will be a great book. But I won't be able to read it. I read extensively in the history of exploration and discovery, but always draw the line at the arctic/antarctic stuff because they always wind up eating the dogs. I am just too emotionally frail to handle frozen pupsticks. If you promise not to kill the dogs, I will read it. Deal?

  15. Alex: I decided that LJ has too many strictly personal entries in it and so I want to keep them segregated.

    I totally get the Turner thing. I can see me in bookstores with a sharpie and some wite-out. And then in jail, I guess.

    The Antarctica book is going to be great. I might consider not having sled dogs, though I was admittedly looking forward to the part where the crew had to eat them. I might be bribed into having the dogs survive. Hmmm. Hmmm. Interesting. Hmmm.

  16. Let them eat penguins!

    Oh, wait, I'm really fond of penguins...but heck, nowhere near as fond as I am of dogs.

    I've bookmarked your blogspot journal so I can keep up now.