Tuesday, June 07, 2022

a new approach to my ms

Along with resting and watching movies and Amazon Prime TV, I started working on my movie-review-book manuscript again, recovering it from the Cloud after my laptop died. I noticed, though, as I was going through the very early reviews I'd written—the ones dating back to the early 2000s—that my writing basically sucked. Not that I'm a great writer these days, but a lot of what I wrote back then now strikes me as callow, superficial, and just plain painful to reread. As a result, I've resolved to go through my reviews with a scythe, cutting out all the ones that don't pass muster. If a review lacks any profound insights, fails the tests of eloquence and euphony, or shows no special, smile-inducing wit, it's getting shit-canned. That'll pare down the length of the manuscript for sure. Some old reviews might pass muster but need slight rewriting: over the past few years, I've been in the habit of including certain crucial information whenever I write a review: the year of the film's release, the name of the director and principal stars, and the story's basic premise. These elements all need to appear somewhere in the review. In many of my older reviews, I failed to include some of that information, so to that extent, those reviews will need to be slightly rewritten.

I have 278 review files going through 2019 (mentally, I set the beginning of the pandemic at around December 2019). If, on average, these reviews print out to around three single-spaced A4 pages (some reviews are much longer; some are only a paragraph long), then 278 × 3 = 834 A4 pages. Shrink that down to a B5 format, and my book is probably over 1000 pages in length. Yikes. Will I manage to get this monster published this year? I hope so. I had thought about doing a small illustration for the beginning of every review, but that feels, now, like much of a muchness. I'll rely on the charm of my book's cover design, I think.

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