My favorite parts of the book are the flashback interactions with famous writers. But they don't do anything for the plot -- they're asides, really. Hopefully interesting, but if they were taken out, no one would miss them.
So that's a problem. One solution may be to hold off until I'm halfway through the book before I bring in the first flashback -- which is a bit of a cop-out. If they aren't good enough for the first half, there is no reason to believe they are good enough for the second half.
I have the sense that there's got to be a way to integrate them into the book -- but that I haven't quite figured it out yet.
I think the beginning of the book is better. I keep trying to clarify the character motivations, the plot premises. I take stuff out, and then slowly put as little as possible back in.
I think I'm going to at least have to put the mentions of his love for Lillian back in -- I don't have to delve into too deep, but at least mention her two or three times before she shows up.
I have a whole bit of business about Cobb's ineptness with cellphone and cars and all technology. I thought I overdid it, so I cut it back, but now I'm putting a little back in.
The biggest improvement to the book is that I have started to get a feel for the characters -- and I'm fleshing them out a little. I'm making them more sympathetic, I think. So that is really important.
If I can just find an interesting voice for all these characters, then the book will flow so much better.
I hope I never write a book like this again -- it was a learning experience, let me tell you. I have learned too that if I get deep enough into the writing experience, it becomes something that is interesting -- especially if the characters come alive again -- or more alive.
1 day ago