Archive | October 2008

Prevaricating

I think I’ve discovered the reason why writers (well, me anyway) will do anything rather than actually write when they set aside alloted times. For me it’s early mornings.

I never used to suffer from this affliction until just recently, because if I didn’t feel like writing – I simply didn’t write.

Now, with deadlines looming and everything being so intense, I’m having to discipline myself, and it’s hard not to blog or creep onto Facebook. It takes an enormous amount of self-control.

My discovery is that writing invokes extremes of emotion and for me, at least, it’s against my nature to be on a high one minute and then tearing my hair out in despair the next. The conception of an idea is intensely private, but if, like all of us, we want to be published, the outcome is about the most public thing you’ll ever do in your life.

The bit in between is like being pulled in two directions, and the emotions are the same – either a tortuous lack of self-confidence, which isn’t helped at all by reading someone else’s brilliant display of literary talent, or soaring to that high place when you have a particularly unique idea that you just have to get down on paper, and then, when it’s written, you feel euphoric and the feeling is better than anything.

It’s being so absent from what is going on around you that you don’t even hear when someone mentions your name. You are so deep within your own imagination that you really are in a different place mentally. Then – wham – the phone rings and it startles you so much that you actually jump. It’s like blinking and finding yourself on the other side of the world.

Does anyone else have any ideas on this?

In Limbo

I’m sorry I haven’t visited blogland for ages. It’s because I’ve been spending every precious minute of my spare time writing. Now I am in Limbo – in that strange place where I’m sure many writers have found themselves before. I have an agent. I sort of have a publisher – but I’m betwixt and between, waiting to hear whether my reworked blockbuster of a family saga splits successfully into three average length books. This was at the request of the interested publisher who wanted three books instead of one.

I’ve finished the re-write of the first novel in the trilogy and the manuscript has been very ceremoniously posted off at our village post office. I kissed it – the post office clerk kissed it – and his wife did too (who works with him and is an old friend of mine) and for good measure the bloke behind me in the queue kissed it too, saying ‘blimey – that’ll put us on the map having an author living in the village.’

I wish I shared his optimism!

My kind-hearted neighbour, Dulcie – elderly, with long grey hair and a hooked nose, stone deaf and very scary to children and animals – was in the queue too, fetching her pension. She pretended, very loudly because she didn’t have her hearing aid switched on – to put a good luck spell on the manuscript and a child in the shop nearly wet herself with fright, asking her mummy if the lady was a witch.

It was all rather touching, really. I gave her a lift back home in my car in appreciation of her good luck spell. Well, wouldn’t you? I didn’t want to tempt any bad vibes.

So this is the state of play:-

  • Book One (80K words). My first manuscript is now with my agent for onward transmission to the interested publisher, but my agent has been in Frankfurt all this week (is it just wishful thinking that she might – just might – have been peddling serial or film rights?) OK OK – I know I’m just being silly!
  • Book Two (78K words) is complete, but needs a serious edit to make sure it has a definite beginning, middle and end of its own. I also need another reader to make sure it can stand alone as a novel in its own right.
  • Book Three (83K words) is in a mess – comprising of the end of the original novel, and the beginning of the original sequel. It needs a serious re-work to give it a beginning, a middle and an end of its own. Mind you it’s a bit longer than the others, so I have a bit of lee-way to be ruthless.
  • I have written three, separate synopses.
  • I have written a single synopsis covering the whole saga.

My deadline for submission of Book One was the end of September, which I managed to meet – just.

I’m hoping to get Book Two to a local reader next weekend, and sent off to my agent by the first week in November.

My deadline for completion of the first draft of Book Three is the end of the year.

If all this is for nothing, then I will have to have lots of virtual TLC. I feel as if I am so close, and yet so far.

Limbo is quite a lonely place to be I can tell you. I really need that Wannabe meet-up on 10th November to give me another injection of empathy.