A Time to Edit

The novel I started four years ago — the one I’ve eked out sentence by sentence in the Planck-time between responsibilities both professional and domestic, or else typed furtively on the train on my morning commute to work (in defiance of odd glances from the strangers sitting next to me, wondering if I were a madman, or worse, a chatty madman) — is done.

Happy Hour in Purgatory, of which three chapters are up on Medium (here, here and here), is now whole.

At least the first draft.

At least every chapter is written — and the plot doesn’t have any holes in it. I don’t think.

Actually, I haven’t read it since I declared it to be ‘done’.

I’m too afraid, truth be told.

As Ecclesiastes said, there’s a time for everything. I’m afraid that the time for wild invention, for the shaping of the future, is now past. The Spring and the Summer of conception and genesis have given way to the Autumn — indeed, to the bitter Winter — of Editing.

I’ve got four years of wild ideas to wrestle with — worm-like tangents to train and wrangle and, sadly, murder off if they don’t behave. It’s time to kill all my darlings, as Faulkner said. In life I am a pacifist, so this should take a bit of time.

I’d like to thank everyone who’s taken the time to read Happy Hour in Purgatory, and for your encouraging praise (as well as your useful commentary) — it’s the one thing that has kept the narrative alive, and is keeping it ticking along even now.

You‘re a very patient bunch — thanks for that, too.

It’s now time to edit. Then, maybe (hopefully), to get it all published.

Whatever happens, I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, keep me honest: I’m hoping to wrap everything up in a month or two, but deadlines work better when you know you’re going to let people down if you don’t meet them. :)