Friday, January 16, 2009

What Next?

The deconstruction of Hafan Deg is going fairly well and shouldn't take me very long. I am working with a much more positive attitude now. Christopher - who's such a know-it-all - seems to know it all, after all, and I am in awe of his succinct, perhaps not always welcome, suggestions.

As I remove said chunks of words, I find myself wondering what that bit was about and why I felt it was imperative to include it. Someone recently wrote that some backstory need never appear, as long as the character is influenced by it through the story, and I see that this is true. Another writer echoed this. The history of each character is a totally separate exercise, outside the manuscript itself, and will be obvious to the reader from the careful drawing of each character.

I think I always knew this. I've been writing for decades, and read everything I could about the craft. Yet I blythely ignored these writers' tips, believing - what? - that I was above it in some way?

So the streamlined version is coming along nicely. The original, larger MS is still on the website, but I will replace it when the shorter one is finished.

In this final slowing-down period, where the worst is over for the creation of this book, I've already begun to think about the next one. Should the manuscript of Hafan Deg be taken up by some agent, or publisher, it could be months, even a year or more, before publication. This isn't the time to sit back and lazily follow its journey. I intend to begin the new one in the next few weeks. I'm also considering a re-write of my first book, because it's a nice story, and no one else has done it, as far as I know.

So I feel the pressure is off for the time being. Christopher has been quite clear about my need to de-stress over it. When I began this blog, I had hoped for clear, firm, constructive criticism - mixed, I'd hoped, with some sympathy, even empathy, to soften the blows. Christopher has done a stellar job of that. Thank you, Christopher.

And I didn't mean it about McDonalds...


Christopher Y. C. Loke said...

LOL, you're funny, my kind of writer. I like you! Anyway, I have never worked for McDonald's. My profile picture was from . . . Halloween 2008 in my office, acting like an English school boy.

And yes, I have to admit, I'm a terrible know-it-all. But jokes aside, I am truly a know-it-all, LOL! I am happy that you're finally destressing, accepting the fact that writing is a challenging and learning process. I'm happy for you. As your mentor, I applaud you, m'lady.

Okay, here are reasons why you won't see my stuff online:
1. You know my stand on posting full MS online.
2. I save the best for last.
3. I don't like critiques from people I don't know or trust.
4. I am not done revising.
5. I am not ready for anyone to ready my MS because it is still being perfected.

BTW, if you want to really read my stuff, I have posted an excerpt from my book on my blog. It was posted last year, a few months ago. So, check it out and tell me what you think. It would be one of my first few entries on my blog.

And guess what! I find that we are both doing the same thing. Revising and rewriting. It's a pleasurable process for me. When I close my door and write, I feel happy. I am totally in love with my work. Are you?


Fran said...

I certainly wouldn't have put my poor over-sensitive ego out here for the world to see if I wasn't in love with writing. It means far more to me than my painting.

But it's not just the writing - it's those characters who emerge. They become so real that they stay with you for the rest of your life.

I sometimes find myself wondering how Strachan (from my first book) is getting on. And then I remember that she's just a character. And then I also remember she's sitting in a drawer somewhere, and I feel sorry for her.

At least I know where she is.

Kit Courteney said...

English school boy???

They are little buggers, granted... but Halloween... surely not?!?!

Fran - I might be daft. Your novel COULD go horribly pear-shaped... but OMG, I'm there.

I'm not far in, but I'm already STRESSING that you'll cut too much!! (But what do I know?)

TOTALLY 'luvvin it' (I do believe that's a bit of an 'Essex'ism... well, from a teenager's point of view, anyway)...