(Poe, surveying her domain, which is everything.)
Oh, what a month was July. There have been hotter summers here in Grand Rapids, and there have been more humid summers, but I don’t remember a summer when it was so unpleasant to be outdoors for so much of the time.
I imagine the perpetual smoke from the Canadian wildfires might have something to do with it. But there are up-sides. As Ray Barboni said in Get Shorty, “They the f*cking smog is the f*cking reason you have such beautiful f*cking sunsets.”
Last weekend, for the first time since well before the COVID lockdowns, I attended a writer’s group. It was…wonderful! And now I have a plan for what I am going to work on for the rest of the year.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group question for August 2023 is: Have you ever written something that afterwards you felt conflicted about? If so, did you let it stay how it was, take it out, or rewrite it?
Occasionally. Less so now than in the earlier days of my writing, simply because I have had more practice and am more likely to spot problematic passages and ideas earlier in the process. But sometimes something slips past and makes it into a later draft.
Then there are projects like my first NaNoWriMo story, back in 2013. It was a technothriller set about fifty years from now in Gabon. I chose Gabon purely for geologic and climate reason, with no thought given to the history and culture of Gabon and Libreville, Gabon’s capital city. There isn’t much information on the culture of Gabon right now, and was much less 12 years ago. So while I still think the bones of the story are good, if I want to complete it for publishing I will need to seriously rework every character, as well as my assumptions about what Gabonaise culture will look like in 2075.
A more mundane example: For my 2018 NaNoWriMo story (NaNoWriMo again!) I wrote a book which was basically a transcript of multiple interactions with a terrible neighbor, rearranged and with a wish-fulfilling ending tacked on. I used everyone’s real names, so if I do try for publication, I will need to make some changes. I do this not to protect the innocent, or preserve privacy, but because, in the extremely unlikely event that the neighbor in question reads the book, I don’t want to get sued. So perhaps this isn’t something I feel conflicted about so much as a timely application of enlightened self-interest.
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