Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Frozen

Number of ideas which might be Book 5: 2
Number of ideas for Book 6 (assuming there will be a book 6) 2
Number of central heating boilers broken: 1

I am frozen. Our boiler has given up and I have pitifully poor circulation and the combination is no fun. Yes, there are spring-like buds on our magnolia tree (very spooky, when seen alongside the last autumn leaves, clinging on like baby teeth), but that doesn't mean it's warm once the sun goes down. I am typing as fast as humanly possible to stay warm!

I was meant to be back in the Beeb today but the person I was due to be training with was off sick, so have been chilling - literally - here instead. Actually did a JK Rowling (!) and sought refuge in a cafe to warm up, armed with pen and paper and my ideas.


Yesterday I did what I like best - met my editor and agent to brainstorm those ideas. I am a bit rubbish in those meetings in fact, I tend to get rather hyper and interrupt a lot, like a small child. But aren't authors allowed the odd eccentricity?

Bottom line is that the ideas they like are the ones I like too, although the one I've written 10K words of, is losing favour slightly to a much simpler, 'bigger' idea. I am pondering whether I might be able to develop the two in parallel, then go with the one I like most and perhaps use the next one for the next contract. But of course you can never assume there WILL be another contract in publishing, it's just the way it is...

I think now that I am not in an office full-time, I could manage 2 books every 18 months, but the demand isn't really there: if I were Maeve Binchy or Marian Keyes maybe there would be, but the world isn't ready for an onslaught of Kate Harrison novels.

Yet...?

Did my university sessions, and it's fascinating what lessons emerge and how I realise I do know more than I think. Top tips today:
- keep your speech tags short and simple, i.e. he said, she said, NOT he gauged (never heard that one before actually) or he ejaculated. It's just WRONG.
- watch out for punctuation fetishes, like when you rediscover the semi colon and find that you're scattering it in every paragraph like confetti.
- try not to give your characters similar names: Jane, Joan and Jen will confuse the hell out of your reader.

Actually, we did some deeper stuff too but those three were my handy hints...

Lovely Link of the Day:
This

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate, the Brown Owl paperback is coming up on Amazon as out on 27th Dec. Is this right? I had it in my head that it was earlier (and I want to get some copies as Christmas presents!)
Sue x

12:01 pm  

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