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Something For The Sponsors
A serialization of selected unpublished parts of "The Revisionaries" ... and my sincere thanks to my paid sponsors.
Hello. Me again.
This one is going out exclusively to you, the paid sponsors of The Reframe.
This weekend, about 6 weeks after migrating from Revue, I received a notification from Substack, informing me that this venture is successful enough that I was getting a little badgie-thing, indicating that The Reframe is a newsletter of note in the Substackosphere.
A badgie-thing! I’ve never had a badgie-thing before!
This left me at a loss as to what to say, but I knew I wanted to do something to show my appreciation for people who made it happen. That would be all of you, people who appear to be fans enough of my writing to pay for it when you don’t have to—which is such a nice thing for a person to be that it moves me to wonder and gratitude whenever I contemplate it.
And that brings me to The Revisionaries.
Some of you (most? I hope?) are aware that I am the author of a novel called The Revisionaries, which is available in all the usual places and some of the unusual places. Many of you probably even have a copy, or even read it, or even enjoyed it.
Some of you might also be aware that when Melville House published The Revisionaries, they asked me to cut the manuscript by about 33%, or about 300 pages, and you can read about the process here. The final analysis of the linked post is this: if your book can lose 100,000 words and still work, it probably needed to lose them. So, the cuts were the right thing to do; realities of the printing industry aside (Melville was already going way outside the norm by publishing a debut author at 600 pgs, and 900 pgs would have been madness), The Revisionaries as published is a stronger work than it would have been at greater length.
Many of the parts that got cut aren’t bad. I might even go so far as to say they were good. Some of them were even parts that I really loved. It’s just that as my editor and I figured out the best way to operationalize Project Make Book Much Smaller, we realized these passages were going to have to hit the skids in order to make the book a manageable length. So out they came, 30 or 40 or 50 pages at a time, sequences in a (fairly) polished and (mostly) finished state, which held a lot of interesting background and alternate pathways, but which weren’t necessary parts of the main thrust of the story, and as such, they had to go.
And so they exist on my hard drive, unpublished anywhere, such specific pieces that I am quite sure there exists no real use for them in any future narratives I intend to write. If you ever wondered what would have happened to Boyd if he hadn’t gotten [spoilered] out of the [spoiler], for example, or if you ever wanted to know more about the history of the mysterious Love family and the growth of their strange cult between the time of Isaac and the time of Morris, the answers do exist.
I have them.
I’m going to give them to you.
My plan is to start serializing various “lost” chapters, probably with a bit of side commentary from me to set it up for people unfamiliar with the novel (or familiar with it but just needing a reminder). My hope is that these will be interesting enough as standalone short stories that they will be fun reading even for those who have never read the novel and never intend to.
(Of course, if you’re not interested in my fiction, the delete button is your buddy. Out of sight, out of mind.)
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There’s also a Founding Member option, which allows you to pay as much as you want as an annual amount. I’m suggesting a floor of $150/year for this level, and it will come with a personalized autographed copy of my novel, The Revisionaries, along with a personalized autographed copy of any other book I publish during a year in which you are subscribed at this level.
One other note before I forget.
The newsletter has always been free, so people could read along even if they can’t pay. I still want it to be like that—and it still will be for all regular-type weekly essays and LOST stuff, etc. Additionally, I know there are people who truly can’t afford even a $10/yr. or a $1/month subscription, and I want to be clear: I appreciate you, too. Thank you for reading. If I’m describing you, and you are truly interested in getting these “lost” chapters, just reply to this email. I’m confident we can work something out.
Now, here’s how I think we’ll do it.
I think I’ll start next week. Since I usually publish the main newsletter on Sunday/Monday, next Wednesday seems right. I’ll make the sections short(ish) so you’re not dealing with a massive amount of fiction to read. From there I plan to continue either weekly or semi-weekly, or monthly, depending on how easy or difficult this exercise proves to be and what feels like a good cadence once we’re in it. And I’ll keep going until it’s gone, and then either I’ll stop, or I’ll think of something else to give you, or maybe I’ll run off and join the zoo.
Either way, I think it’s time to do something special for all of you, because I genuinely, truly, sincerely appreciate you.
So here we go.