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...

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky