Thursday, September 15, 2005
The Crap Bits
I admire writers who can stick to one piece of work at a time. Why can't I? I think it's because I've not yet worked a way of writing (or not writing) "the crap bits." The crap bits of a novel are the ones that you have to write to get from A to B. You either just write them, and hope that they don't bore the reader to read as much as they bored you to write, or simply skip them and hope nobody notices. At my least linear, the latter kind of works well, but it only hides another truth, that I still go through the pain of not writing the crap bits, even if there's just a blank slate. Some books, of course, are full of the crap bits, as if the writer revels in those mundane bits that other writers wisely skip over. I'm probably not alone in creating hostages to fortune. Put your character in a coma or a hospital or a prison cell and you've suddenly got loads of crap bits to deal with before you can have fun again. Some writers no doubt come back and write the crap bits afterwards. I've heard Brett Easton Ellis say that he added the murders last to "American Psycho" and ditto Magnus Mills the deahts in "The Restraint of Beasts." Its kind of disappointing this -unless they were merely savouring the good bits to the end, like eating all your greens and leaving the steak till last. The thing I'm currently writing, I've just got over the crap bits, through gritted teeth and impenetrable prose. Pen is poised to have a rollicking time with the 2 German truck drivers I was about to send out on the road with their perilous cargo, but before I get to that, I wonder whether maybe I should go back to the previous thing I'd abandoned, I'm obviously getting better at the crap bits. Now if I can only get to the good part...
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 5:38 AM