On Editing a Novel #8
STARTING A NEW NOVEL. You asked me to be honest, so here it goes: it's clear what you have isn't working. Look, you gave it your best shot and maybe, well, maybe it's just time to try something new. No, I don't think this is quitting. Think of it as a fresh start to write the kind of book you wanted to write before that other one got away from you. Oh, Jesus, don't be like that. I'm not saying you're not any good, just that the book...no, no, wait a second, that came out wrong and you didn't let me finish. Yeah, fine, storm off. That's what Tolstoy would do, isn't it? You're right, let's just calm down. I didn't mean that. I'm sorry. I'm going to try again. What I want to say is that you keep working on a book that doesn't seem to be making you happy and maybe a new book would make you happy. No, it's not that you're "polishing a..." oh, hell, I can't even say it. Let's stay classy. If you used your gift for similes a bit more in your novel we wouldn't be having this conversation. Yeah, well, use this in your novel. Okay, can we just get through this? Fine. I think you have two options here. You can--don't even say it again--you can keep editing your not-at-all-turd-like current novel or you can start another one. How should I know what you'd write about? You're the writer. Allegedly, I don't actually see a lot of proof. Yeah, well, we've both said things we'll regret. Maybe you should do a children's book. I don't know, kids like bunnies, right? These things pretty much write themselves. It's not permanent. Think of it as something to clear your mind while you think up an idea for another novel. Oh, that's great. Let's hear it. No, that's awful. Seriously, I don't want to go through this again. Keep thinking about it. In the meantime, I'm telling you: bunnies. I don't know what to do with the last one, maybe just toss it in a closet and try to forget about it. Yeah, well, that's only if there's space in the closet that isn't occupied by your father. You go to hell, too. You know how hard I've tried to help you with that awful book? Sometimes I don't even think you notice. Of course I'll be there to help with the next one. I didn't mean all those things, I'm sorry. Let's just move ahead to #9 FINDING A VANITY PRESS AND CONVINCING YOUR PARENTS TO ORDER HALF THE PRINT RUN.
On Editing a Novel #8