Reviving Old Material

In addition to TealArt I have a secret second virtual life (how sad is that phrase) as a list-mod for a couple of mid-sized email lists. It makes sense, email listservs represent a certain backbone of the what the internet is for me, and while there is never enough time, when I find one that I like, or one grows into something really cool, I like to hold on to it for as long as possible.

Back in high school I started a science fiction writer's list on yahoo groups called SF-Writing, and it grew and while it's sort of gone fallow for a while, this list has been really important forum for me over the years. I recently posted a question that I think is sort of interesting there and I want to reprint it, and add a little reflection, so here we go:

I recently pulled out the first 13 pages of the novel (my first) that I wrote 4 years ago, that I think contains something useable, that I want to play with in the coming weeks, I think there's a project in there, and I had forgotten it for a long time.

I wrote this book, and it told an ok story, frankly it wasn't that interesting, but after I finished it, but before I abandoned it, I wrote this prologue, written from the perspective of one of the characters in the novel (after the events of the story), as a sort of historical essay. Frankly it was boring as hell, out of place, and more of a sort of "formal outline" My hope is that I can can do better if I just focus on this small little piece of the story.

Ironically, it would mean writing a Mars book, which it might just be time for. Jeff and I talked about this a while ago, and I think we even talked about it on the list, but there's a certian tradition of SF writers writing a "Mars Book" (eg. Heinlein's stuff, Bradbury's Chronicles, etc.). But that's not the question I hope to pose.

I read the chunk that I spoke about in this part of the message a last night, and I realized that the story I thought it told was really only a small portion of what was contained in that section. It's a funny thing memory.

Here's the question I posed to the list. More writing related and specific than not, but I think there are a number of larger issues that linger around these experiences.

Do you all revive old works that flounder or do you plow forward? How long do you let projects go fallow before coming back to them. And finally do you revise and amend and edit, or do you rewrite and re- imagine?

It's interesting to work on new and different projects, or at least break out of my habit of only writing for TealArt.

I'm getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow morning, so while there will be a Deleuze essay on Friday, I'm going to be pretty absent for a few days. Hang in there!

Cheers, ty

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