Working late

In the aftermath of a deadly car crash, three people are pursued by the relentless policeman who believes they conspired in robbery and murder.

I stayed up to the wee hours last night working on the book. Actually, most of it was spent working on the cover, candidly not a practical way to spend time. I have the visual-design skills of Helen Keller, so eventually I am going call up one of the graphic designers I know and say, “Want to make $50 the hard way?” I wrote a back-cover blurb (quoted above). It’s not really what the book is about, but my original, more accurate blurb — “Three people struggle with their concepts of love and faith in the aftermath of a car accident” — would chase off even me, and I’ll read anything.

I also spent a lot of time tweaking the text. I always spend a lot of time tweaking the text. I worry that I do this to avoid actually writing, but I comfort myself with the famous Oscar Wilde line:

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

About 3 in the morning, I was about to go to bed, when I remembered: I had left a small but pivotal character with no resolution. He had had a scene scheduled where the protagonist seeks him out for advice, and his recommendation sets the climax in motion, but another character was put in his place and now he just sort of disappeared.

So I gave him what he’d been begging for the whole book: a death scene. When someone else pleads with him to go to the hospital, telling him, “You’re going to die,” my guy, a Theravadin monk, responds, “I’m going to be born”, I myself lost it and started to weep right there at the keyboard.

I think when the average author says, “I just want to move someone emotionally”, he’s usually means someone else, someone other than himself, but I’ll take what I can get.

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