Friday, May 24, 2013

And another thing

Ugh. This article that I've been writing on and off for...two years? now is...kind of a mess.

It's trying to do too much. You know?

There are these sections that are very clear, lucid, and compelling. I'll make quite a nice little argument about something. And then I write, "Another example of something sort of similar but not quite the same is X," and off we go into the muddle.

I'm starting to suspect that the solution is to jettison about 30% of the whole. I don't actually have a problem with that (and it would still be plenty long enough for an article, I think), but I'm not sure which 30% needs to go.

Part of the issue is probably that I've been working on it for so long. I've amassed more examples, related points, evidence of further scholarly discussion, etc. than I know what to do with, and I'm afraid of cutting too many of them for fear of weakening my case. (This might not be unrelated to the rejection that the initial version received, which accused me of being unfamiliar with much of the literature on the topic [not so!] and not having a clear thesis [guilty. But fixed!]. So now I'm trying to make it really really clear that, oh yes, I'm familiar with the literature. Familiar, I say! Look at all these footnotes and gratuitous quotations!)

OK--Bonaventure has now been napping for 2.5 hours, which means he'll be up at any moment (indeed, this is, so far, his second longest nap ever. Comes of skipping his morning nap, the goofball), so I ought to get back to work in the little time remaining to me.

1 comment:

quodshe said...

Ooh, I know *exactly* how you feel. I have an article like that and I'm working on it this summer, too.

Unfortunately, I don't have any advice -- just sympathy.