Thursday, 11 January 2007

Work in Progress

I had a very productive day writing today. I’m really glad I decided to set up a dedicated writing space for myself, it’s really paying dividends. The novel is coming together nicely, and I’ve got to the stage where the end is clearly in sight. Technically, this will be the second draft, but in reality it’s only the first draft. I’ll explain. About a year ago, I showed an extract of the first draft proper to The Secretary, just to get her initial thoughts. (The Secretary is a great ‘reader’ because [a] she reads voraciously – fiction of all genres – so she knows what’s good writing and what’s not, and [b] despite our relationship she is brutally honest. Generally, writers know better than to show their work-in-progress to their nearest and dearest – they either say it’s great even if it’s crap, or they do say it’s crap but can’t be more specific.) Anyway, The Secretary thought the extract of the first draft I showed her was ‘all right’ and gave me some really helpful comments. In particular, she really liked one of the characters. I mean, she REALLY liked him. She thought he was great. The only problem with that was the character only had a bit part in the novel as a whole. So I re-read the extract I’d shown her, then I read a part where this character didn’t feature, and I could see The Secretary was absolutely right – the parts with this guy in were much better. So – I completely rewrote the novel to give this particular character a starring role. Which means I have a completely different (but hopefully better) novel. And the first draft is nearly finished. Hoorray!

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