Over the weekend I finally revisited a story I wrote many years ago, with the intention of tightening it up for publication. Since the completion of that first draft the story has grown to something of a legend in my mind, and I frequently think of it as one of the best things I’ve ever written. That one, I say to myself; I may never write anything good ever again, but I’ve written that one.
So you can probably imagine my disappointment when (after cutting approximately 75% of the original text and starting over from scratch with the rest for reference) the only string of words I could convince myself to leave intact and unaltered was this profound passage:
“Jill thought the place smelled like the Bargain Barn.”