Saturday, 29 August 2009

Excuses, excuses!

Long time no blog but hey, it's the holidays and I've been...well, actually I've been working really hard. It's the time of year when I have to wear a Landlady hat so time for writing is limited. I'm also writing a short story and perhaps more significantly trying to proof the final draft of the novel. I'm not good at proofing so I am printing it out a chapter at a time and going through line by line using a ruler to cover the next bit. It may sound dreary but as I get further in, I feel more and more excited by how the book is shaping up.
Just as well, because the energy required to try to get it published is more than all the effort put into writing it.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Chop chop!

I'm back home after a couple of weeks away. I didn't write more than a couple of sentences in all that time either. Tell a lie, I wrote a postcard and a birthday card. On the train home I wrote the opening to a story that I am going to scrap. It's a good story but I got the slant wrong. I think. It could be that I've written the two pages that happen before the beginning. I do that quite often, rather like going on too long after the end. Both are easy traps to fall into. Now, when I think I've finished a story, I try out different places that could serve as the beginning and the same for the end. It's amazing how many paragraphs are surplus to requirements.

One day, I might try amalgamating all the bits left over. Something serendipitous and fun might occur, like the odd shape jam tarts made from the pastry cut off a flan.

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).