Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Hoopy words

Douglas Adams' abandoned draft of Life, The Universe and Everything to be published.

Adams was a brutal re-writer...partly because it helped him procrastinate and keep from having to write the next bit. (At times on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series, he'd start the day with 5 pages of script and end the day with 3 pages.) This draft of LtUaE is 16 chapters long, but just stops. I wonder if it includes what Adams described in Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic:

As with everything, I put it off longer than I should have, and then I had a huge domestic crisis which knocked me for six; I couldn't think of anything funny to save my life: I wanted to jump off cliffs and things like that...

...So I went away and did this [book promotional] tour, feeling terrible about the situation I'd left behind. Then I came back and sat diown and wrote, and threw out practically every word of the first draft... Take, for example, in the first draft, the first twenty pages, which were Arthur waking up in his cave, two and a half million years ago (I think it was just that was where I wanted to be at the time). I rewrote it and rewrote it and rewrote, and at the end of twenty rewrites those thirty pages were the first two lines of the book, and that was it.

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