Thursday, 5 December 2013

Pushing on through to the other side (of a finished book)

I think I said a few weeks back that my blogging wasn't as frequent as it used to be. Real life and all that. What I probably didn't mention was I was slogging through the final draft of my current book. I've recently finished the final draft and read through, come up with various cock ups I need to fix and put my attempts to trim it to below 100K (108K at the moment) on hold until a couple of people read it and give me their thoughts. Anyway, as this book has been a nightmare to write, I knew I had to push on through with it, force the words down and get the plot and characters into a vague semblance of shape before my remaining hair falls out. So blogging went a bit quiet, as you may have noticed. The other thing is that writing a book - the actual act of sitting down and hammering out 1500 words in a session - is not particularly interesting to anyone other than the writer. You don't go to a restaurant and watch the chef prepare your meal, do you? You wouldn't watch him chop and dice and simmer and all that. No, like a normal person, you'd wait for your meal to be done and on the plate, all lovely and ready for you to scoff. In the same way, you wouldn't want to hear a writer bitching about their sodding, stupid plot and their idiotic characters who keep getting in the way of all the fun bits while that writer is wading through the third bastard draft and cursing the idea that hit them almost a year ago.

Putting the difficult birth this book has had alongside real life issues over this year (everything from my day job to family illnesses to decorating the house in the vain attempt at selling it) has meant a draft that would normally take me, at most, two months took me twice that, and then needed a load of edits and rewrites before it stopped blowing goats and began to have the potential of being quite cool. But here's the thing - this is what a writer does. They push on through to the final, polished draft and they listen to what a few select people say about it before they make any adjustments. Writing is not sitting about in coffee shops, stroking your beard and making sure people see you have Word open. It's work. Fun work some of the time but most definitely work.

Anyway, this book is done. Like everything single thing I write, it may never see publication. There are no guarantees, but at least I can say, yet again, my book is finished. And for what it's worth, this 108K nightmare is called Pandemonium.

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