The Call of the Keyboard

I’m not going to begin this Blogpost by apologising for my very long absence. I’ve not been sitting around, eating Cadbury Giant Chocolate Buttons all day or anything, I don’t know where you get that idea from.
I’ve been very Busy, learning How to Write. I have! I’ve done writing courses, and attended writing conferences and I’ve met Lots of Very Interesting and Informative Writing type People. The increased Prosecco consumption has nothing whatsoever to do with any of it.

Anyway. In case you didn’t know, my debut novel meets the big wide world this Spring, and I can’t being to tell you how exciting (and scary) that is.
At the moment, the only people who know how rubbish I can be are me, and my lovely, and very patient, editor. Ticket to Ride took me two years to write and shortlisted for publisher ChocLit’s Search for a Star competition in 2016. I kept in touch with ChocLit as I’d read so many books on their lists that I’d loved, and I’m delighted that they have accepted both my first novel and the second, plus an option on the third, which I’m currently writing.

Confession time here. Now, I know perfectly well that I’m a novice in terms of novel writing, but I naively assumed that having re-read and edited Ticket to Ride for two years, submitting it for assessment via the wonderful Romantic Novelists Association, and having it placed only one mark behind the winner in the competition, it probably only needed some grammatical tweaking and some light snipping here and there. A mid month trim, if you will.
I wasn’t prepared at all for the slashing and hacking that it actually needed. I resisted it and wrung my hands like an old fashioned heroine and threw the entire plot in the air and re-structured the story-line completely, massive plot holes and all. I doubted that it would ever see the light of day. It was utter tripe. Rubbish. I’d wasted three years of my life. Who did I think I was?
My editor wasn’t a bit fazed. Take a break, while I catch up with what you’ve written so far, she suggested. Take a break? I’d been writing non stop throughout Christmas and New Year, only stopping to keep my blood:Prosecco/Chocolate Button ratio up. As if. Don’t believe everything you read. (Unless I’ve written it, of course.)

So I took a break. I took the Christmas Decs down early and I cleaned the house and walked the dog (aptly named *Scribble) and I read some of the novels I’d stock-piled to read. And then I could resist the call of the keyboard no more, and as my fingers flew in time with my brain, some alchemy occurred, and somehow, things began to make sense. It’s still raw - but there’s a warmth, and roundness, a sense of place and colour that was somehow missing before. I can’t even pinpoint what I’ve changed to achieve that. It’s nothing by itself, but the parts are beginning to make a whole.
Well. That’s what I think. It will be out there soon, and I won’t be able to do a thing about it. I can’t begin to imagine how I will feel about that.
Does editing ever stop?

Ps. This is Scribble, under the desk, keeping my nose to the grindstone. His expression says, Get On With It. I should have called him FitBit, as he never lets me slack. :-)



Comments

  1. I love editing! But then, I've never been required to slash and hack, so maybe that's why. I'm so glad that you found the alchemy that makes the editing process so interesting and rewarding. It is truly amazing, isn't it? You would never have submitted your book in the first place if you hadn't believed in it and considered it to be complete - yet here you are, making changes and watching it grow into something even better. Good luck and I hope to see you in the summer at the RNA Conference in Leeds xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou Susanna! The more I learn, the more I realise I don't know.
      I'll definitely see you at the Conference, looking forward to it xx

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