I have been editing the last few days. Feeling well enough to do it, so I did. And, I have to wait to do the computer builds because my camera battery charger died, and I ordered a replacement that is on the way. No cameras, no recording ability.
Fig Street will finish at around 120k, and I have made two passes, and I am sixty some pages away from a final edit.Fig Street took so long because it has, like the upcoming books Glennville, and Hurricane, been written over years of time. Hurricane, eleven years ago. Glennville and Fig Street over the time span of 35 years. So, when picking it up I have the story in mind, with the dust of all those years on it, invariably I have it wrong. I think I know what I wrote back then, and so, in the case of Fig Street, I picked up the story-line I believed I had written, and in the larger sense of the story, I was on the money in most aspects.
The differences were in names, and picking up the lives of characters, weaving them in, and in some cases they were already dead. That won’t do, so I had to go back, determine when I killed them, make a cheat sheet, and continue on by re-writing scenes where they were still alive and should not be. I was also amazed at the attitude and the beliefs my characters had, having been written so long ago, they are not even close to politically correct.
The other part of Fig Street that was a challenge, was the type of fiction it is, was, was becoming. It was meant to tell a story of three young friends. A thinly disguised account of some of my life as a kid, except weird stuff started happening in the story-line, SciFi-Fantasy stuff, and I am not a big SciFi-Fantasy guy. I mean that., but here I was writing it. Other worlds, talking dogs, a young woman who may or not be an emissary of God? She can do magic; paired with straight laced townspeople, a hard working sheriff, a straight laced New England town setting, and three foul mouthed kids, because we were foul-mouthed kids.
I actually got kicked out of an ice skating rink once; there with my brother, because I swore. The guy pointed to a sign on the wall and said, didn’t you see that? No Profanity, the sign said. I said to my brother, I couldn’t have done that, because I don’t even know what it means. My brother explained it meant swearing. Obviously he was paying a lot more attention in school that I was.You can’t fight city hall, and so I got tossed out of the skating rink, no fostering the love of Ice Hockey in me; my brother went on to be a Flyers fan: All because he didn’t have a mouth as bad as mine.
So, all those things were coming together in a book and I didn’t like it. I went through fig street and tossed all the towns people who had provided the background for the kids, the town and the story, out. Then I tossed out the weird SciFi-Fantasy stuff. That left me with a novella that had absolutely no purpose: I wouldn’t even know what to do with it; in fact I didn’t; so I have been hemming and hawing. Finally I put the entire story back together as it came to me and was meant to be and began straightening out the kinks. Less than 70 pages left to do in the last proof and I’ll publish it.
Then Glennville, the second book in the trilogy? Maybe, or maybe I will finally stop screwing around and finish typing in Hurricane, a crime thriller, and then Glennville. Whatever I do I will do it slowly, and carefully. I have a third book completely written for that Glennville trilogy. It is mainly set in the other realm that Bobby, Johnny, Moon and Lois end up in at the end of Fig street. It is such a strange world to me, and so different than what I usually write, but it has been finished since 1986, and so I should do it, get it out there to complete the story.
So, you see, the Fig Street story that was supposed to be a story loosely based on my childhood, became something else. It went back to what it was originally written to be. Yet, even so, it still carries many traces of that childhood, the city I grew up in, the river I explored, the types of friendships I had, and much more that is hard to embrace, but I miss anyway, Dell
A free look at Fig Street: https://wendellsweet.com/2020/09/10/a-look-at-the-book-i-am-working-on-now-fig-street/