Friday, October 07, 2005

Beginnings and Endings

Word count: 4,303

This is the good bit... the stage of writing a book when the characters are becoming real, yet still have plenty of mystery about them. The most important thing for me at this stage is that I like my characters, and am also excited about what I'm going to put them through! Even though I don't quite know all the details yet.

When it comes to planning I am somewhere between a Plotter and a Pantser (term I've heard used for authors who write 'by the seat of their pants'). This time round, I have a couple of pages of headlines, a rough chronology of what happens overall. But there's a lot of detail still to be filled in: what time of year is it? (I am thinking of beginning in February) whether I am setting it in a real place or a semi-fictional one? And there are some even more fundamental ones like how far can I push the tragedy in what is fundamentally a comedy?

At the opposite end of the scale is the Brown Owl copy edit, which has arrived by courier this morning. I hate this stage - and I wouldn't be a copy-editor for anything. It's the first time my MS has arrived back with electronic comments on it, and if anything it makes my work look sloppier, because it shows all the little errors I've made more clearly than pencil marks. I do feel rather guilty when I see all the mistakes and dodgy punctuation.

And I thank Orion the Dogstar that my copy editor is clever enough to pick up on the numerous inconsistencies like:
  • a bottle of wine changing colour from red to white half way down a page
  • confusing timescales
  • the sudden disappearance of four Brownies...

Overall, there's not that much to do, but I will want to do some trimming of the text to get rid of some over-writing, so it's not as simple as it seems. This is really the last chance to make any significant changes.

But I am having a weekend off as we're going to a fab hotel... more details when I am back!

Lovely Link of the Day:

Kate White is the editor of American Cosmo AND a novelist. This article is all about writing a novel at the same time as doing a demanding job and raising a family. Makes me feel like a wimp for making plans to quit the day job!


Blogger crissachappell said...

Vanishing brownies and bottles of wine? Sounds like fun to me....

6:39 pm  

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