January 26, 2013 5:00 PM by Wade Blogs
Over the past year, every time my phone dings with an email, I wonder, Is it about the book? Is it my agent? Is it my editor? What if it’s from my publisher? About a year ago I heard that same ding and I quickly checked. It was an email from my editor.
Perhaps you’ve heard this… A novelist is a failed short story writer… A short story writer is a failed poet… The reason my editor wrote those lines was because we were having a minor tug of war over the length of the book. I didn’t think I could tell my story in under 400 pages and he was thinking 250 might be plenty. He was more right than I was: shorter is better
It’s interesting looking back, because now I have six or seven chapters that no one has ever seen, not even my agent. But I think creating them was a necessary part of my process. They just didn’t fit in into the book’s arc.
In losing those chapters I also lost some irony. For instance, the first chapter I wrote that’s not in the book was about the summer of 1976 when I came to New York City for the first time. I was a towheaded 6-year-old from Cleveland with a doting mom and a strict father and three older sisters. The trip was an all-expenses-paid weekend for a safety poster contest that I’d won. In a bid to win it all, I’d drawn a picture of a kid standing on a bike and pasted a picture of Fonzi on it with the caption: “The Fonz Says Sit On It.”
Another ‘Not in the Book’ entry from Turney Duff, author of The Buy Side. He started a blog to include several happenings that are not in his book, which will be released this spring. If you work on “The Street” or enjoy finance or know someone who wants to be Gordon Gekko I would highly recommend this book. I haven’t read it but I just have that feeling it’s going to be an instant piss your pants from laughter and shit your pants from disbelief type of book.