Thursday, May 7, 2015

Playing in the Bouncy House of my Mind (It's Revision Time!)

My sister just sent me a photo of my darling nephew Louie on the slide of his very own outdoor bouncy house. Now, as a child, nobody loved bouncy houses more than my sis, but I was still surprised--I didn't know personal bouncy houses were a thing. I went online to amazon, and lo, there are more personal bouncy houses for sale than books, more or less, from the indoor versions, priced at $139.99, up to the Pirate Bay Inflatable Combo Water Park and Bounce House, for $549.99. The Pirate Bay is a lot of jing, but less than the expensive swing set my kids once had, and I bet they would have played with it more often, too.

I'm at the Bouncy House stage of my new novel. The strenuous work of the rough draft--in which you know it's crap, know it's not right, but you absolutely, positively, have to get it all onto paper anyway, so that you reach a point where you're army crawling through the muck of your own words, head down, blisters on your elbows--is over, and the third draft, in which the sucker has to start to make sense, is still ahead. The second draft is party time. It's time to play. You've got a basic framework to start with, and okay, the beginning sucks (it was bound to), and the ending, while poignant, isn't really going to work now that you see it's based on a faulty premise, and a lot of the middle is dreck, but some of the bits are really quite nice, and those you're going to juggle and slot together and really have fun with.

Six months ago I loved the beginning of my new book. I loved the narrative device I used for telling the backstory. I was thrilled with my own cleverness.

Now I think, wow, this is about 30 pages too boring. Also, not such a great opening line. But that's okay, because possible opening lines are hurling around my head right now. I especially like, "The horse had two of its legs blown off," but I don't know, that might become the first line of the new second chapter.

It's partytime, folks. Bring on the bouncy balls.

P.S. It's a toy horse. Sheesh.