1. Footnotes are addictive. I started with a couple here and there for an intended purpose and now am approaching the Wallace-ian (well not quite, there are none that go on for pages, just a couple that are paragraphs thank god). As of now there are 60. There is something immensely pleasing in adding extra info to the text without having it definitively mannered in the flow of the graphs. I do not recommend getting started with these, as it's hard to stop. (Sidenote: When I saw DFW read several years ago in Boston, someone asked him in the Q&A about his excessive footnoting and I swear he blushed a little, and said he'd had a problem, and he was mostly clean now, thanks.)
2. Though I think I like the original title now, part of me wants to call the book: READ THE CHILD THIS BOOK OR IT WILL SUFFER, which is a phrase that appears a little too early on in the narrative for me to be okay with using that title, though I think it would be kind of neat. Neat.
3. Esp. in early drafts I like to put one paragraph or set of graphs on a page by themselves so they can breathe and I can better see how to add or subtract from them, which is something I started doing in the other novel I wrote earlier this year. I have found it much easier to generate a lot more 'healthy feeling' text in this fashion, though now I have grown too fond of the graphs on their own pages to put a lot of them back together. SAMEDI THE DEAFNESS was the most recent book that made me want to write like this, though I think I read an interview with someone else, like maybe William Vollmann, who said this helped him a lot. It might have been DFW come to think of it, but I don't think so. Nicholson Baker? I can't remember. Oh, maybe Gary Lutz?
Actually I think it was Don Delillo.
Probably a lot of people do that.
4. Switching voices is fun but I think there usually needs to be at least some discernible reason for doing so ie: perspective, collision, etc., maybe something more than just a new voice, otherwise it disrupts more than it adds I think. This novel has several voices though they tend to play off each other and are set up in various parts of the novel distinctly to add to that section, then are not repeated. The hardest part I'm having in revision is there is a voice at the end of the novel that goes on after the last 'palpable action' occurs and kind of deals with some of the energy left at the end, I think I like the way it works, though I am having trouble making all the words fall in line. Funny how you can write carefully, with attention to every syllable, and then come back the next time and look and say, 'What the fuck was I thinking?' Certain kinds of writing are all about mood, I think. I've been in a lot of weird moods lately.
The worst example in me of this is I was writing a novel about a guy who tells his son he's got a job at Disney World so his son will be more happy and excited about moving to Disney World, then he locks himself in his den and starts destroying all his old records. At that time I was reading Gordon Lish a lot, I read like 4 or 5 of his books in a row, and I went back and tried to add a scene where the guy leaves the den and gets in his car and decides to kill himself by parking on the highway in the fog and getting hit, then he gives up and goes to a diner and sits there and some guy at the counter orders him a full enormous steak dinner with everything and demands he eats all of it, then makes him come out to his car and get in and sit. The scene ended like that. It sounds better now recounting it than it was when I tried to insert it, trying to write somewhat like Lish, god it was terrible.
5. Reading Aase Berg's REMAINLAND while line-editing certain things has added a lot of visceral elements to the mind of the book: I felt close to those words anyway, but specifically looking at the phraseology each Berg poem between revising my own lines is interesting in its collision.
6. I think this novel could be considered a sister novel to the one I wrote in ten days earlier this year, though I'm not sure how to say why, nor should I.
7. Advice from a very drunk Tom Bissell while I was at Bennington, advice I have cherished since (this is an approximation of how he said it, though he said it better I am sure): "People say in writing you have to kill your babies. Don't kill your babies! They are your babies. They want to be there. Nurture them. They are what is most you."
8. I would love to use this image turned vertical for the cover of the novel now. I can see the bold font on there massive. So me. It would probably work for anything of the books I've been submitting come to think of it. Scare the customer.
9. More later.