Under that horrible metric, I’m awash in a sea of my own failure, simply because writing Coquetting Tarradiddles does not pay. Well, that’s not entirely true. It pays…just not very well. To date, my AdSense revenue has generated a staggering total of $42.90, from about one hundred clicks. If all the little dots on my map were clicking ads, I’d be a happy scribbler. Sadly, the world hates me. Now, I’m not asking everyone to start frantically clicking ads like furious, coked-up psychomonkeys, but am merely pointing out that, at least in terms of direct revenue earned from blogging my little heart out for the past year and a half, I’ve come up empty.
That’s not to say that the site hasn’t been at all profitable. On the contrary, it’s directly responsible for getting my ass back to the business of writing, which is something far more lucrative and worthwhile.
Except that it isn’t. Not really. Especially not when you’re mired in editorial Hell, busily trying to trim around 190,000 words from a 270,000 word book, because a smaller word count is “more marketable” and “cheaper to produce”. America, I have been advised, just isn’t ready for thick and weighty tomes on subjects other than vampires, secret societies, or teeny-bopping wizards. I’m not sure who’s fault this is, but when in doubt, I like to fall back on blaming stupid people. It usually works.
Then again, I know that I can be unfathomably verbose, so I can probably stand to shed a few metaphorical pounds of verbal assfat. Still, it’s very difficult to amputate bits from a body of work, since each piece you try to cut serves some sort of function. The meatiest, wordiest bits tend to be the prime candidates for extraction, except for the fact that they’re the meatiest, wordiest bits. Removing them tends to spread destructive ripples along the book’s pond of continuity, and unless other, shorter bits are written to replace the longer, better bits, everything comes crashing down in a behemothic tidal surge of inconsistency. It isn’t pretty.
So I’m busy trying to decide what to include, what to exclude, and what to strip out and rewrite from scratch, with an eye towards brevity and “chapter book mentality”. I dislike chapter books.
There’s rarely any reason for chapter breaks in a novel, beyond simple laziness on behalf of the writer, and/or the immaturity level of the reader. Honestly, chapters seem to exist only as placeholders for those who either can’t afford bookmarks, or are unwilling to dog-ear the pages.
Most often, however, people use them to determine their reading schedules by pledging to read X number of chapters a day until they finish the book, presumably because they have to stand in front of the class and give some sort of a report on it later in the week. What happened to simply reading until you wanted – or needed – to stop? Why do people cling to an unnecessary convention that adds next to nothing to the narrative flow of a book, save for the absurd sense of accomplishment folks seem to get from reading several chapters in one sitting. “I read FIVE CHAPTERS last night! Yay, me!”
So anyway, there’s that. And there’s life, too – which always excels at getting in the way. If it’s a day ending in Y, you can bet that there’s something going on somewhere, conspiring against me and chipping away at my will to go on. Honestly, after a particularly trying week (like the one I’ve just endured), it’s hard to not just want to give up, give in, and dive down deep into the swirling blue waters of the metaphysical toilet at the end of the universe. Sometimes – not often, but sometimes – I just want to jump in and flush my soul straight down that great cosmic highway of suspiciously stained porcelain, to start again on the clean side of the purification plant for celestial sewage.
Or something like that, anyway. I’ll go into more detail about all of it tomorrow, but because I’m trying to learn brevity…