I suppose it’s all over then. As I plough my way into the final revisions of my novel, I realise that this blog no longer has any purpose. Dave does write stuff, he has written stuff, and now he has nothing to procrastinate over. Farewell to Dave Doesn’t Write Anything Ever, and possibly good riddance, right kids?
Well, probably not, but I may run out of things to rant about eventually. I may have already, this is more of a space filler than actually something worth reading. It is in fact, an actual, genuine, bona fide, last ditch bit of procrastination, no word of a lie.
It has become painfully apparent that the book is going to need working on again soon. I realised this because despite having spent the last month (while it’s been with my small select group of trusted proof readers) going over the plot in my head, thinking of ways to work in a couple of gags that only just occurred to me, and working out how to attack the next round of revisions with the least amount of distractions. This week, I have mostly been fiddling around with my guitar effects pedal board, trying to find the best sounds for songs I will probably never play, and restringing guitars I do not need for anything I am currently doing. I’ve also written a bunch of new Dave Not The Cat songs, always a sure sign I should be doing something else.
All this was prompted by the return of my manuscript from my favourite proof reader, it has some very useful notes scrawled on it. Along with a conversation last week with another of my trusted readers, this means it is definitely time for me to get on with it, and do the last couple of sweeps of this book before I have to actually decide where it is going to end up.
That’s where the real problem suddenly reared its head. I have been so busy concentrating on getting the thing written, and as good as it possibly could be, and a thing I could be proud of, etc. etc. I had not really given serious thought as to what to do with the bloody thing once it was finished (probably because of the surfeit of unfinished novels I’ve got lying around the house already, I never thought it would get finished). It should have occurred to me at some point that just as many people are trying to get to be novelists as are wanting to be rock stars, and I didn’t manage that one either. Once again I feel irony’s bitter sting as I abandon one impossible pipe dream for another. There is a small (okay, quite big really) chance that an unread novel will sit on amazon’s self publishing service alongside all the albums I have littered the internet with that nobody ever listens to (if this has filled you with sympathy there are some for download here).
I have also had to cope with a few truths about my writing style, and its unnecessary wordiness (which has been utterly deliberate so far in this blog, and shall remain so). There is a great deal of crap to scythe away from my tale of derring do, (not actual crap apparently, just excessive sesquipedalianism really)and with every stroke of the editor’s pencil that I see, I realise how much needs to go. I apologise for the amount of extravagant verbosity that I am vomiting all over this piece, I need to get it out of my system.
It’s not just that though. I have been alerted to some colloquialisms that I assume everybody uses (apparently not everybody is ‘made up’ when they are happy, and I should keep such things to the dialogue, and out of the narration really) my grammar is occasionally shocking (expensive education utterly wasted, sorry Dad) and certain things when seen from a completely different viewpoint look terribly wrong, or right, depending on which side you’re on. I have however been very pleased to have the note ‘unlikely’ put to the side of an incident that actually happened in Barnstaple in 1997. I shall not recount the tale, but if you had ever been in Sherry’s Tavern back then, it would not have seemed so unlikely that a bouncer would behave in such a fashion.
Equally, my own personality defects are affecting my characterisation somewhat. The fact that I do not ever remember what people look like, or ask them anything important about their lives has led to me sometimes forgetting to describe characters visually, or bother with what some would call their vital life details. It is genuinely just due to my own world view and priorities, you can ask my wife. If I come home and tell her that I have met somebody interesting in the pub, she will immediately ask me their name (which I usually have not bothered to ask) followed by what they do for a living (which I have never found important enough to ask anybody about) and whether they are married or not (similarly not interested). I can then go on to tell her their favourite episode of Star Trek, what they like to drink, what they think about the current government, and their top five track one side ones of all time. I think these things are more important, I am realising that not everybody does, and rewriting accordingly. Sadly, just like the rest of the country, many of my characters need jobs.
Anyhow, I am clearly just thinking out loud here again, sorry. I must get on and finish the revisions before deciding what to do with it all. Goodbye forever, I shall procrastinate here no longer, Dave really doesn’t write anything ever.
Except he does, and he almost certainly will again.
:Edited for brevity, honest: