As you may have noticed, I haven't said much about the new book on here. You also may have noticed I've mentioned a few times on Twitter that it's proving difficult to write. I think my last comment was that it had turned out to be a fucking nightmare. Ahem.
The strange thing is, I think the basic story is a strong one. There's potential here for a great horror/mystery novel. It's going well in terms of speed and word count. At the moment, I'm at about 37,000-38,000 words and am averaging around 2000 words per session which is a nice, comfortable speed for me. I expect the first draft to be in the region of 70,000 words, so if anyone wants to do the maths, that means I should finish it in...I don't know. Never liked maths. Anyway, it's going smoothly in terms of getting the words down. So what's the problem?
The problem is I don't know this story or the characters in the way I've known other stories and characters. I think it was Hemingway who said the first draft of everything is shit. He's definitely right in this case. Because I'm telling myself the story as much as I'm potentially telling a reader, this book is a mess at the moment. I mean, a proper mess. If your daughter brought my WIP home and introduced it as her new boyfriend, you'd throw it out of your house and tell her she wasn't going out with such an arsehole. It's that bad.
A writer can't improve a book to the point of it being publishable until they do one simple thing: finish that first draft. I know of other writers whose first drafts are more or less finished as they go. Their second drafts are a basic polish and then their book is ready. Not so in my case. So I'll muddle through Book 4 (which, by the way, has a couple of working titles) and I'll finish the first draft and it will be terrible. After that, though, is when the real work starts.
Smartening my book up. Giving it a haircut. Sorting out some decent clothes. Making it get a job. Then your daughter will be allowed to go out with it.