Dona Nicha, and while bobbing my head idly to the surf-rock, I started thinking about my book. What a mess it was. What extensive scalpel-snips were needed. After much thought, I decided that the sprawling five-part structure was ridiculous and self-indulgent and purposeless. Why? Why? Why pad the front end of the novel with previously written text of other cities and other times. There was no trajectory, there was no...dare I say it, PLOT.
An old friend from Portland always said plot was my weak point, and years later after reading Jet Set Desolate he hadn't changed his mind. This time, though, I had so lost track not only of plot but of the point...what the hell was the point of all of this? Who the fuck cares what I spent the last 13 years of my life doing?
So, snip snip snip and a cut cut cut and a new plan has been hatched. That is, to take the Portland material, my Reed thesis of 1998, which is in itself a completed novella, and try shopping it around to see if any publishers are interested in a punk rock novella of the 90s....who knows, it's worth a try??
And then, flash forwards to what was the most compelling material of the bloated death corpse of a manuscript, the LA/Echo Park material that I was writing about the present, and make that chapter one. Start at the end. Go forwards into the future. Keep it current and exciting. Don't keep recycling old material, but generate anew.
I will keep the San Francisco and San Diego chapters around on the hard drive, of course, in case a flashback is necessary or suggested. Razorcut flashbacks are a bit of a fun time. But I feel so much more excited about the text now that I'm trimming it down, it was sort of an embarrassing dead weight of awkward before.