The Bigger the Ego.

Took me most of the day to get half the edits into the main manuscript of "Fateplay." Will do the other half today. About 20 pages per hour, or roughly 17 hours total, with some breaks in-between.

But once it's done, it's done. I'm not sure if this is my longest book at 119K words. If not, it's close.

I'm catching little continuity errors that no one else saw--probably because I recognize what are vestigial remnants of the first draft.

It's funny. I've been working on cutting down on commas as much as possible, which I think is the modern style. I guess I've succeeded because Lara added a bunch back in. 

This story isn't exactly believable, but I'm hoping it's fun. It's amazing how much character interaction and dialogue I do these days. Looking back on "Star Axe," my first book, I avoided both of those things as much as possible. Spent a lot of time doing action or describing scenery.

Then I finish for the day and sit down to read Michael Moorcock's "Gloriana" and think, wow, that's some great writing.

Then again, the story is kind of dry. I have an appetite for the ironic, slightly detached stuff--like Jack Vance or Michael Swanwick or Norman Spinrad or Michael Moorcock. But they aren't anything like my simple little stories. 

As always, I wish that I could operate on a slightly higher plane; deeper, smarter, more skilled, more emotionally accessible. Like if there was some kind of magic pill I could take. So close, I sometimes feel. I get flashes of that, a really good description or bit of dialogue or emotionally resonant scene. But continuing that kind of inspiration all the way through a book is probably impossible.

My stories are valid, I think. Hopefully entertaining. And every time I start a new book I have a chance to get it completely right.

That said, I think I'm lacking the massive ego of some writers--and I've noticed those massive egos actually seem to sway people. Which is kind of irritating. The same kind of thing you run into everywhere else. In running a store, you can have a big ego and fail miserably, or a small ego and succeed, because it ain't about the ego. I was able to prove it by doing it.

(Advice from a high school friend--if you take yourself seriously, others will take you seriously. Ugh.)

In writing, the bigger the ego, the more narcissistic you are, the more notice you get. Some writers can back it up, but most can't. Sigh.