Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Never Good Enough

Tonight I wrapped up another reading/edit of my spy story The Eagle Intercept, which I am currently shopping around. It's 65,000 words of tasty espionage mayhem, but I have my doubts about it. Not because I do not think it's a bad story, but because there's a sequence in the book that nags the heck out of me. Ninety-nine percent of the book is, I think, just right, and I wouldn't alter it; however, there is a sequence that I think can be done better, but I have no idea how to do it better, so it sits there mocking me. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it. The sequence doesn't slow the story; in fact, it moves things along at a brisk pace, and soon enough the characters are in another location engaging in more tasty espionage mayhem.

But I think this sequence could be done better. We're only talking, say, 10 pages. Ten pages of this stupid manuscript are keeping me awake tonight--well, that and the constant popping of firecrackers. Dudes? Independence Day ended three hours ago, put 'em away until next year. Although, considering the town I live in, and it's high crime rate, what I'm taking for fire crackers may indeed be the town gangs settling some scores. But I digress....

One thing that's hard about writing--for me, anyway--is that I'm never happy with the finished product. Maybe a lot of writers feel the same way, and every book is an attempt to get the previous one right, and if so I have my work cut out for me. This is not the first time I've faced this issue. Back in high school, when I was turning out a book a year (terrible books, looking at them now, but they provided great practice) I spent a lot of those years trying the same book over and over again because it never quite worked. Eventually I gave up, and what there is of it sits in a drawer to this day.

The sequence in question also bothered me a year ago when I outlined this book, so this isn't a new problem. I've lived with the damn thing for over a year now, and it's still a nag. It's not a bad scene, there's nothing wrong with hit, but it nags me. It could be better.

I'll probably think of a solution after the book is published.

Yeah, that's exactly what will happen. I'll let you know what I come up with.

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