Holy Crap, What a Mess!

I was going to spend all day yesterday reading The True Believer, but, at the last minute, I decided to go spend some time with John Overton, just to see what would be involved with getting back into it.

Holy shit! It’s a complete mess.

Reading it, I was struck by both how truly good parts are and how long just boring shit happens–boring shit I was happy to write, but boring shit. There’s no narrative urgency. People wander around and they do shit and they do shit for a reason, but reading it, it really felt like mostly a train being pushed from the back, not pulled from the front.

It’s kind of scary because I feel like, in order to fix it, I’m going to have to not just rewrite it, but reimagine it. John and his dad may need to go back earlier. John definitely needs to participate more in the past. And, no matter how good it is, some of the Sue stuff probably needs to come out.

But, on the other hand, I feel strangely grateful that things have worked out this way–if I hadn’t had the time off working on Project X and the short stories, I wouldn’t have the distance to see this.