a new draft dawns

17 09 2008

I started the proper revision of the third draft of my novel a couple of days ago. I always intended to take a long break from the novel when I finished the third draft. I figured that distance from the bugger was what was needed – after all I’d been writing it since 2002. I’d been living with it, breathing it, thinking it, if not every day then 99% of them.

There was also the fact that when I’m writing I tend to get emotionally involved and as a result it’s hard to gain perspective. You know the kind of thing: “No! I won’t cut that dialogue! It’s brilliant and witty!” even though it is obviously not. Sigh.

So I gave myself a holiday. I took it easy, focussed on some other things and I figured that when the time was right I’d know it. And yeah, I kinda felt it a couple of weeks ago. It was an agitation, a feeling that I should be making progress and I knew it was time to return.

I’m reasonably happy with the Prologue (which you can read here by the way) though there are some inevitable fiddly changes that I’ve made. I’m less happy with Chapter 1. I always knew it needed more work to make it a punchy opening but until now I couldn’t see an obvious way to fix it. Not that it was bad, it just didn’t grab in the way it should.

When I was working on it this morning I figured out a way to fix those problems. I’m going to strip out a lot of the intro stuff. Its important information but I can introduce it in later chapters. One of the things I remember from my script writing classes is “show don’t tell” and that’s essentially what I’m going to do. I think it comes down to confidence in your reader. You don’t always have to spoon feed them all the information – a bit of mystery is a wonderful thing.

Anyway I’m supposed to be working so I should get on with it.

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