I’ve started Book No. 2.
Well. That’s not entirely true. I think it’s really Book No. 1 because I wrote the first 20K words in 1980 – 1981 and then gave up. It hasn’t seen the light of day since then. Some of it was carefully typed out, double-spaced, on an old electric typewriter I had in those days. Well, actually, I must tell the truth, the pages are rigid with Snowpake. Remember good old Snowpake?
In a deep crevice of my brain I sort of remembered that I’d not finished typing it up and there was more handwritten stuff. After rootling about in the loft I’ve found two foolscap sized hardback notebooks full of the next 20K or so words, together with doodles, shopping lists and telephone messages!
I wasn’t going to use it. The first 20K words were dull, uninteresting and quite frankly, the most badly-written rubbish I’ve read for a long time. Besides, because it was so long ago, how do I know I hadn’t copied anyone else’s work or ideas? (Although I don’t think I would have done – but I was only 24 then and it might not have occurred to me that it was wrong.) It was so bad I was almost hoping that I had copied someone else!
On the handwritten portion the younger (and slimmer) version of Annie had put the dates in the margin. So I could track her progress. She seemed to have been aiming for two sides of paper a day.
When I got to the end of May 1981 – coincidentally or not, the most horrible time in my life) I was startled by the clarity of the descriptions and the flowing descriptive prose. The subject matter was nothing to do with the personal tragedy I was suffering at the time, but it was clear to me that I had retreated into the pages of my novel whilst trying to escape the horrors in my life. The results were absolutely stunning – even if they did reflect the state of my traumatised brain at the time!
I also wrote a poem on a loose sheet, which I might put on this blog. It might just help someone else in the same situation I was in in May 1981. I’ll probably post it tomorrow.
I am completely re-writing the first part of the book, using the original plot. Some of it I can’t even remember writing in the first place.
I can’t think of a title yet.
Can someone tell me where I can get one of those word counter thingies to put on my blog?