Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Vanishing of Owen Taylor...

I'm halfway through the book in this edit. Parts have been trimmed out, some have been moved farther back in the story, and I'm replacing the cutesy titles for each chapter with numbers. My aim in this pass is clarity, but not to the point of simplicity.

There are some aspects of the structure that will not change. I still begin with Mira's question in Paris; it is what the entire story is about, so I have to keep that. And the suggestion by someone that I cut the story in half is not going to happen. Period. I'm not writing a screenplay, here, nor am I after parroting Raymond Chandler. I'm building Jake's world, and it's not one that's taciturn or Noir-speak or simply a mystery.

What it boils down to is, I have to be happy with the book when I publish it. I have to feel I've done right by the story and characters, and while I can pull back some on exposition, every one of the subplots in it matter in ways that have become endemic to Jake's journey. I'm seeing that this time and the truth is, what I want to be said is what I've already written. It can just be written a bit tighter...a little better.

It's never going to be 50,000 words, nor do I want it to be. This story is about more than Jake finding out what happened to his uncle. It's more than him getting caught up in the battle between gays and homophobes in Palm Springs. It's about more than him and Tone. It's about him coming to terms with who he is and what he's been through...which is why he cannot answer the question at the very beginning except with a pat comment. It's through the story that he finds the answer, and that story is involved and anything but linear.

I know my editor won't like these choices, but they are my decision, no one else's.

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