Monday, 3 August 2009


I finished my novel again last night. It's the second time and eighteen months after the first time I finished it and only about fifty percent of the original novel is still in. It saw many redrafts along the way too and now, I'm thinking that next time I need to be much clearer about what the novel is about and where it is going.
Of course, I thought I was. After the first novel (which sitteth sweetly patient in the drawer) I said the same about the second but got led astray. In hindsight, I recognised influence from authors I was reading at the time. Sudden author intervention after reading David Lodge for example. Casual slaying of the innocent, even the dog for heaven's sake, after intense watching of The Wire. Don't laugh, the impressive thing was how seamlessly I managed it!
What was I thinking? I was finding out how they did it. And that's not a bad thing, but the middle of a novel isn't the time to experiment. Sounds obvious? Yes, but I'm not sorry. I've learnt loads and dog lived to tell the tale (err, no he didn't...tell the tale, that is. He did survive, just hurt his paw. Actually the dog's female. You have to watch that sort of thing too).


  1. wow only 50% of the original left! How does that feel? is it cathartic being able to shake off what you see now as not good enough? or is it partly aweful when you think of how much hard work went into the discarded bit? Just curious, and very admiring!

    ps a second career as an HBO writer ;)

  2. It was ok, Christine. Funnily enough, I can get more upset about losing a sentence than a whole chapter. It's absolutely true what they say about murdering your darlings ie you should cut the bits you are fond of, more often than not they are standing in the way, hiding something much better that's right behind.