I AM EXTRA
Cuts, corpora, and commentaries from I AM ERROR.
Good writing means making sacrifices, and editing is among the hardest tasks that a writer will face. During the nearly four-year process of pitching, researching, drafting, editing, revising, and finally publishing my first book, I AM ERROR, I wrote over 160,000 words and included over 100 images. At its most bloated, in August 2013, the book was over 600 pages long. And it would have been a poorer, more boring book if I had published it in that state.
Though the book is still the lengthiest of MIT’s Platform Studies series (sorry!), I managed to cut the word length by a quarter before its release—some 40,000 words. Many of these cuts were incredibly difficult to make, often representing weeks or months of research, writing, and editing. But ultimately, letting go of these sections proved liberating, making the book leaner and more readable.
Nonetheless, I still like many of these deleted sections, so I thought I’d share some of these edits here, along with some commentaries about the writing process, some of my original notes, and a few other extras. This post will serve as the hub for all such material, and I’ll update it over the next few weeks and months as I trawl through my manuscript files and recover any remainders worth sharing.
A caveat: since this material was cut, it may not bear the same level of copyediting, citation, or proofing found in the book proper. I may make a few light edits here and there, but I’m not doing wholesale revisions. So I won’t post junk, but consider all I AM EXTRA content to be in perpetual draft status.
Here’s the links:
- Manic Compression is a cut from chapter 2 that talks about data compression in Donkey Kong‘s level design. [posted 6/8/15]
- The Super C Helicopter Boss is a technical look at Konami’s clever use of the MMC3 scanline counter. [posted 6/6/15]
- ‘The Art of Erasure’ is a platform study of Cory Arcangel’s NES art game Super Mario Clouds originally intended for chapter 7, but later published in the August 2013 edition of Memory Insufficient. [posted 6/6/15]
Still need more? Here are the press/features/interviews I’ve collected covering I AM ERROR: