Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Time to get on with it.

Back to work, whinge over. I've delivered book 2 - edited, read through a dozen times, tarted up and smoothed out. I'm sure it's still full of stuff I haven't seen or sorted, but someone's new eyes coming to it will find them.

Editing is so important. I'm sometimes sitting with other writers, and one will say: 'I never edit.' Well, you should. Even if you tidy up as you go along, even if every chapter and scene is plotted from the outset, when you look at the whole thing you need to go through and consider the reader. If they don't have your life experiences/sense of humour/values will they understand every line? If these characters are new to them, is there enough to make is easy to understand them? Do they know what you meant to say or are they dependant on what you actually said?

I'm doing a substantial re-write of book 3, too. More than an edit, I'm looking at whole threads which don't quite work, don't actually mesh together. Maybe I'll even lose a character or two, or make it less complex. As the final book of a whole trilogy, I'm trying to tie up a lot of loose threads, complete the journey of increasing numbers of characters. I've started by looking through the first six chapters and rearranged them into a much better order. Then I've printed them off and have worked through them, finding things that need to go in, changes that need to be made, backstory that can be managed better.

I'm also planning to go off to the Arvon centre in Devon on the 28th April to write some poetry. It might seem a bit strange that having spent so much time and effort (and having some success) in the arena of fiction that I might not bother with poetry, but I find poetry is the spring of inspiration where words are concerned. I'm more economical and precise with words in fiction when I've been writing poetry - and editing. Poetry IS editing. Even deciding to keep your first draft is a conscious decision. I can't wait, even when I'm terrified of going away for a week with strangers in the middle of nowhere... There's no internet, no phone, no nothing. Excellent.


  1. Glad you said that about editing - as my day job is book editor! The retreat sounds great, and I really agree about writing poetry. I find that it stimulates the creative mind, particularly the part that finds fresh ways of expressing things. A retreat sounds great... I have realised lately that good writing requires head-space... quiet, staring into space, no pressing commitments... hard to achieve when fitting writing round full time work. Hope it works well for you!

  2. Thank you, CDW, it does sound great, doesn't it? We recently suffered a lightning strike to our phone line that blacked us out, with phone and internet, for more than two weeks. Heaven! After the first few days, we got so much done, and so much more creative work without the constant distraction of checking emails etc. I'm sure it will work out well!