I’m working very hard on the work in progress at the moment. So hard that I seem to have absolutely no mental energy left for the blog. Sorry. Things have, I know, been kinda dull here recently.
As those of you who have been following closely will know, I have stopped three quarters (if not more) of the way in to the current novel to go back and fix a character; and therefore fix the novel. It’s working, I’m happy with it, I’m approximately 25-30 percent of the way through the rewrite which I think is the most difficult bit. I’m much happier with what I’m producing now and I’m also happy that the book is about what I thought it was about, I just need to do it better.
When I stomp around the city on my daily walks, thinking about the book, things assume a very clear and defined shape. I see the themes, the layers, the interconnections in the narrative very clearly and this encourages me – I do know what I’m doing. But when I’m actually sitting there working on a scene, it’s difficult to maintain that ‘helicoptering’ over the book which keeps all the strands, metaphors, themes, recurrent images in mind. The whole thing becomes difficult to see and as a consequence, what appears in my mind when I’m away from the book is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve when I’m sitting there at the kitchen table working at it.
But… I know I’m closer to that vision this time around. When I’ve finished these rewrites and then when I’ve finished the whole draft, doubtless there will be more rewriting to be done. And so on until I’m completely happy with the result.
I rashly told Will, my editor at MNW that I’d have a draft to show him by September. Don’t think that’s going to happen. Because, even if a draft has been finished by sometime that month, it’s unlikely to be something I’d be happy to show him. Or anybody else.
Though it was an artificial deadline, set to give myself something to aim at, I feel bad that I’m not, realistically, going to make it. But the last thing I want to do is rush to get a version of the book done just so I can put it on Will’s desk when I said I would. It took me years to get Testament right and I need to remember that.
So, if blogging is sporadic over the next few weeks, please forgive me. Writing is in progress elsewhere.