So after a lot of great feedback (thanks!) I decided it was worth revising. It's funny how easy it is to come up with reasons not to do something. Mine were like: 1) I don't have time! 2) see 1 3) it's too distant from me now 4) some other reason that made logical sense like "I've forgotten what it's about".
All true. Thing is once I started I started to have a good time and I realized that I probably could just do this revision and step away from it once and for all, with not as much effort as I had imagined.
There's a lesson here. A lot of my friends, both in game industry and outside, struggle like I do to give enough time to personal creative ambitions vs the very powerful demands of our industry work. And a lot of us, myself included, become convinced of the impossibility of actually finishing anything when the demands of our home life and work life are so substantial.
The only way I ever finish anything is by doing one thing at a time. So I am going to try to stop parallelizing, which is terribly easy to do in our age of multitasking everything. Just do this one goddam thing.
So I'm hoping I am not speaking too early. But I'll at least document the ride to finish this thing. Mostly because if I do I know I'll be shamed into completion.
Today and yesterday I worked on cleaning up and reframing chapter 1 and 2. Mostly what this was was coming to grips with the old style of the book, which is this thing a friend of mine called "Biblepunk" for lack of a better word. Or Old Testament noir. Anyway. It's weird, and it's especially weird revisiting it as a writer and being like, how the hell am I going to get myself back in that creative headspace again.
But like John Cleese says in his awesome talk about creativity, really it is about sitting there and being uncomfortable for awhile and not taking the easy way out. So I did that.
The trickier part was deciding how much of the why needed to turn up in that first chapter. So many of my influences, Dashiell Hammett, David Goodis, Gene Wolfe, I feel like when I wrote this book, I didn't want to say why the main character was on his journey, and as much, I felt I didn't want to know. Because the thing, almost always the primary thing that I love about writing, is the imaginative discovery. Almost more than telling a story, I like letting the story tell me what's going to happen.
However this method, while fun for me, does not make for easy editing, nor does it make for a lot of the typical setups people expect in fiction. Which leaves the story feeling, particularly next to movie scripts, dramatically flat.
So that's the big thing I have to deal with in the next five chapters, is just getting that what if in front of the reader and also leaving enough questions that they want to keep going, even if they don't know quite where "there" is.
I expect I will put a chapter up here soon. Good luck with your own projects!