Two thirds of the way through. 59,677 words. 333,027 characters. The third (fourth? fifth?) edit. I’ve lost count.
I’m at that stage where I think I have rewritten every paragraph, every word, every character, a thousand times, which I’ve been told is a sign that it is time to let go and oh how I want to, to finish this editing drudgery. I’m too much of a perfectionist to let it float away from me until at least I can feel that it makes sense, that the story is relatively well told. (And yes, I will need readers, ones who can read without fear of hurting my feelings even if they scratch out half of it with sharpies and say…”no, no, no, what were you thinking?” I will allow them to call me names, and I will feed them 72% dark chocolate—or milk, if they prefer—and rich espresso, or fragrant tea, depending on their preferences. But not yet. Not finished yet.)
I was a reader once, of an endless manuscript written in another tongue that I devoured in a marathon of sleepless nights over a Thanksgiving holiday when my family was far away and I was alone in the city. (Yes, it’s true, they couldn’t find anyone else to do it…sucker that I am.) Anyway…tucked in my little apartment, I lived and breathed this memoir (yes, it was a memoir) which might have been lovely had I liked it…but I loathed it. It did end up getting published and a movie was even made of it, which I suppose means that I was a terrible reader or simply had very different taste than the editors or the reading public. Oh, and the author killed himself prior to its publication, may he rest in peace, which creeped me out until I realized I was no one in the scheme of things, my little foray into formal readership brief and unnoticed… I hope.
I wonder if we could live our lives like that. Oh, I know we return to our pasts via our memories (and via facebook, which I’ve deactivated, at least for the time being). But what if we could edit our lives? What if we could erase certain passages, highlight others, bring into greater prominence some characters and minimize the impact of others. What if we could change the scene, write the dialogue, add or remove the drama, skip around in time and space. The past would then have no meaning, but perhaps the future would lose its import too, for in one fell swoop our lives would become a manuscript subject to our will.
But oh, this theory is so highly implausible. It would never, ever work. Not because of reality or its constraints…but imagine a world where multiple editors edited at the same time the same passages. Too many cooks to the nth degree. Above all, impossible to sync!
It would generate so many error messages we’d all just self-destruct. Poof.
Time for bed, and a weekend away from editing (and blogging). My brain is clearly…mush. Hence the image of the lavender tutu which has nothing to do with anything and I would never wear (but I do love the color).