Well, it’s been a while and I’m still not on the old internet full-time, but I have been able to sneak onto the Ethernet for long enough to revisit the old haunts. And I see that Little Rickards is doing a special on “things what have died this year”. Well, I was going to do an upbeat thing about the fact this is one of the few years, in the last dozen, that I can actually look back on and say: “You know what: that didn’t suck!”, but his clarion call to the melancholy has got me in its spell.
Chapter 32 – I dist love thee… though not enough to avoid rolling over you with the Pit Bull Terrier of re-write. Now I must here confess that it’s a rare occasion that sees me buggering about with a chapter once it’s writted, but poor old CHAPTER 32 is the exception to the rule.
Now I must coinfess that the last time I looked at it I cut out about two thirds of it and stuck it away in a file of its own… Then I put it all back in again. But now I am determined: get thee behind me 32! Though are but the trinkets of a whore! (or something like that).
This dreadful lack of desire comes out of a meeting I had not two weeks ago with the procurator fiscal in Aberdeen. Now that may sound like a ‘so what?’ to you, but this is basically THE head honcho for law enforcement in the North East of Scotland. Head honcho of the third largest city in the country. Ultimately responsible for every single court case in the whole bleedin’ place. And a jolly nice lady to boot: early forties, blonde wavy hair, pink suit like one of those Jackie O jobs, only without the nasty black buttons and piping – you know, the bits that make it look like a clown outfit – all in all a class act. And she tells a mean story too, unfortunately none of which can be repeated for legal reasons. BUT: one thing she did do was poop around with the story I had written so far. In order to bear even a marginal resemblance to reality I would have to go back and make sweeping changes to the book. So I did.
Now this in itself is painful enough (lies, all lies, I just had to change the bits involving the procurator fiscal, but it sounds more dramatic this way), but it did afford me the opportunity to go through the whole book from the start. And I got to say: it actually hangs together. Reads like someone clever wrote it (which is a bloody shock), or at least someone not thick as three short planks (again: huh?). But it did mean that poor chapter 32 had to go.
Out with the bathwater you go. Your burning remains floating up to the heavenly chorus – and other pish like that.
However (and you knew this was coming) it has raised a number of interesting questions. I think I’m going to have to present them what make the big decisions with two endings to book two. One ‘standard’ and one ‘a bit not’. Wonder which one they’re going to bet the farm on…