Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Small, Good Thing

Last night, after a fine dinner of butternut squash soup with hominy bread, I finished rewriting Chapter 10 of my philosophical detective novel, The Last Guest. It was a bit of a chore, and an unexpected one at that. I've put more effort into one long passage in this chapter than I have anywhere else in the novel. I hope that it works now. Tonight I'll type up all my changes (which means edits/revisions to the whole book, not just the new version of Chapter 10) into the master document and then, if I'm feeling up to it, I'll print out the revised Chapter 10 and read through it again to see how it feels now. The hope is that it will feel grand, and I'll finally send the MS off to my patient agent.

One temptation I am resisting is, of course, to rewrite the whole book from first to last. I've got a bunch of new ideas about how a narrative should be shaped and how certain types of details should function within the narrative, and I'm dying to try them out. However, a wise writer would save that for the new book he's trying to write, and just let the perfectly fine detective novel stand on its own. I don't need to remake it according to this week's idea about the perfect narrative. That will make it a different book, but not necessarily a better book. So I resist, as I say, yet another round of serious revisions. No, I'm done with my rewrites and I must ship it off to Manhattan as quickly as I can so that I might turn my attentions to Go Home, Miss America, wherein I can do as much experimentation as I want.


  1. Can I come over for dinner? Dang, that soup sounds good. And yes, please don't rewrite the book. Please. We both know you are beyond that writerly step. :)

  2. The soup was fabulous. The house smelled like curry all night.