Story collection: Auto-Archeaology

So this week I sent off the manuscript for my new story collection, Love Hard.

(Btw that title is sort of humorous -- you can read it in the sexual sense of "hard loving" -- and, although there is sex in the book, it's really much more about how love is difficult. Imagine hearing the title grunted in a gruff, masculine voice like Frankenstein's monster: "Love hard.")

(Begging the question, do I see male lovers as monstrous? Hmmm, well... read the book.)

(Although, remember, Frankenstein's monster is sympathetic.)

I haven't posted much on my creative writing in a while because I've been so absorbed in grad school since my last novel came out. It's been nice to dive back into a literary project this summer, getting the manuscript finalized.

I'd put together several different versions of it over the years, and this one is re-assembled from the ground up. Remastered, I guess you could say: I reread everything in the last version and well as lots of old files on my computer. After 20+ years of writing fiction, I had do do quite a bit of text recovery and file-format translation to open some of them. Anyone remember AppleWorks? ClarisWorks? MacWrite?

(Permanently lost are some early academic pieces written on 5-and-1/2-inch floppy disk with an IBM computer in an early version of Word Perfect.)

Yes, I even have some stories that are typewritten. (Including their very funny critiques, quite neatly typewritten, by David Sedaris.)

Being a communication media geek, I had to wonder if my writing would've been any different if I had begun on a computer, if I hadn't lived the transition from writing on paper by hand, to typewriters, to word processors, to computers. I still do a lot of drafting and editing by hand, but I have to say, I hate it when writers get all pretentious and huff about how they only write by hand. (Yes, with a feather quill and pained expression, I'm sure.)

Rereading work written on different media, I couldn't sense a qualitative difference, but it's hard to tell because they were different stages in my life, when I was at different levels of writing skill. ("Oh, here's the year Trav finally learned the difference between 'that' and 'which'!") But I do have memories of the older, handwritten and typewritten pieces feeling much more labored--but that has as much if not more to do with my skill level than technology use, I think.

No comments:

Post a Comment