Progress Report #79

I finished chapter 32, Draft 2 (which put me over the 900 page mark) and have started chapter 33. In this chapter the central event is my getting a close look at what I might well have become had I continued playing music. It’s not a pretty picture.

I have one more narrative chapter to go after this one and then a “summing up” type chapter. Then I’m done with draft 2. I intend to take some time off from the book and get a fresh mind again. I’ve been going along for more than four years now hearing the same voice, that is, the same quality of writing, and I am weary of it. The next draft, the last one, is the chapter where I get to bear down, get creative, and find the magical, “accidental” resonances. I’ve been waiting for this for nearly six years. Once I’m into the last draft these progress reports will become far more infrequent. You can’t write a book on stage. Occasionally I will let people know how it’s going, though. It’s pleasing to me that anybody wants to know.

7 Responses to “Progress Report #79”

  1. E Ward Says:

    Sounds like you’re making good progress. I enjoy the updates and look forward to reading the book. šŸ™‚

  2. Margaret Benbow Says:

    I’d really enjoy seeing some of the chapters published as stand-alone essays in magazines, before your book as a whole is published. I’d guess that there are some chapters you see as essentially polished and complete, even now.

    • markbittner Says:

      No. Nothing is polished and complete. I didn’t do it that way this time. (I did that with “Parrots” and it was a huge stumbling block. I had an extremely difficult time getting past Chapter One, which required a lot of compression.) My agent wants me to be on the lookout for sections that can stand on their own, that I would stop to polish. That could happen. But I find that the book itself dictates how it’s to be worked on. One of my constant tasks has been to figure out what it’s calling me to do. That approach has been working.

  3. tz Says:

    ….”what it is calling me to do. …”
    ah yes! listen well for that, and we will all be drooling fools as we key in our pre-orders… and most likely completely delirious by the time this jewel gets released into our hands.

    It is not everyday that we readers find an author such as yourself. You are worth the wait.

    Forgive me if this has been asked before: are you considering releasing a digital version for e-book readers?

    • markbittner Says:

      The decision about a digital version will be made by my agent and the publisher. But it seems to me that it’s pretty much a given nowadays.

  4. Shelley Says:

    Having read Wild Parrots, watched the movie, and followed this blog, I patiently wait for Street Song. I have always felt there were two stories in Wild Parrots and look forward to a close look at the second.

    • markbittner Says:

      You’re right. There are two stories in Wild Parrots. The one was highly compressed and is now being unfolded. At the same time, they are part of one story. I see the parrots as a stage in the “other” story. I have a fantasy of one day turning them into one book. But that kind of thing seldom happens in reality. Business prevents it. In my old age I could make a big electronic file where the two stories are integrated. But I’m partial to printed books. I don’t have an e-reader and I don’t want one.

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