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Entries in Rewrites (1)


Listening to your writerly Spidey-sense

I’m at the public library sitting at one of those funky workstations way in the back—the kind that just needs a wall-mounted phone and a sheet of plexi-glass and you’d feel like you’re in the visiting-room of a prison.

Oh yeah, this is where the magic happens. 

I’m sitting between (looking at the stacks to my right and left) Cocaine: The White Gold Rush, and a row of short course guides to the GED. So if this whole writing thing doesn’t pan out, I can skip high school and sell bags of blow in South America.

Actually I’m here writing, since my home office has been overrun by a plague of teenagers on this crime against productivity known as summer vacation. (I called the exterminator, but he said these feral creatures couldn’t be classified as rodents if they wore Converse shoes and begged for rides to the mall).

So here I am, in my fortress of public solitude. 

I’m working on a complete rewrite of the new book. I know…I know…I turned it in a couple of times. And lots of people liked it. But deep down, I had this fear that I’d written the literary equivalent of Spider-Man 3 (the movie). Those who have seen that particular train-wreck of a film and its far-superior, near-perfect predecessor, Spider-Man 2, will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Basically, the new book had a LOT going on. Many layers, many characters on the stage—all of them competing for attention and it was simply too much.

So I’ve pared it down. I’m currently about 100 pages into version #2,591—something like that; I might have exaggerated a bit. But it’s so much better. Sure, you might have to wait a bit longer (next summer, maybe?) but you’ll thank me for it.

Because as Uncle Ben once said to Peter Parker, "With great power comes great responsibility." And I don't want to be responsible for a bad book.