Having finished the beta draft. I now wait for feedback before making it a better draft and then… the crushing inevitability of rejection from agent after agent. But we fight on, we do not let the dark lady logic win – no! I’m in the middle of completing my displacement activities top trumps pack:
- Made a list of agents I will approach, ranked, with different coloured labels;
- Made soup;
- Made a list of soups;
- (Yet to make agent soup, although I here spaghetti is better);
- Done some ironing;
- Done some irony;
- Done some ironic soup (it’s frozen);
- Checked my email about a billion times;
- Tried to distract myself on twitter (feels very much like adult tellytubbies sometimes, only ‘refresh, refresh’ instead of ‘again, again’.;
- Frozen to death in the kitchen. Ok, not actually to death, but to a point approaching death, where N is the starting point and the end is a point beyond which soup, no matter what it’s ingredients, can no longer revive you;
- Started second novel;
- Worried about second novel’s commercial potential (or lack thereof). Pondered writing novel about soup – or ironing. Resolved to call the novel ‘Iron soup’.
- Waited a bit;
- Considered making main character a soup-obsessed serial killer, for makimum cookery/crime crossover sales;
- Jiggled my knees in a really irritating manner. It’s ok, because there’s only me about. Still very irritating though. And I can see my reflection in the glass. Jiggle piggle;
- Despaired at the sheer bloody number of other authors out there. Perhaps if I can’t out-talent them, I could kill them all. With soup. I could send care parcels to various agency author lists consisting of poisoned soup. Hmm. Very Agatha Christie. I wonder how long she waited for feedback.
Anyhoo. This post is really a load of old nonsense to keep the blog ticking over and to pretend to the man who’s been running around painting various walls for the past four five hours that I don’t press Apple+R for a living.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this draft – possibly this story – not being ‘the one’. I like bits of it, but there are other bits are confused, or dull, or plain wrong. And I’m beginning to see this as my ‘friends and family’ book. But at least I’ve learnt some things along the way:
- A book can be as simple as 35 scenes. That’s not scary at all. 35 writing days. Easy. (Cackles hysterically as he looks at the calendar – let’s see, novel #1 overdue by 9 years);
- You can sit in a crowded place and yet be completely alone, as long as you have headphones;
- Don’t turn round in Starbucks after you’ve been writing for hours or you’ll freak yourself out (one time it felt I was back in a university seminar – six tables immediately behind me all occupied by lone typists, but mostly it’s the seething mass of toddlers, tired-looking mums and harrassed staff that are disturbing);
- You don’t have to begin at the beginning. But you do have to end at the end;
- Don’t get too attached to your characters. They’re not real. They won’t buy you beer. Or make you breakfast;
- Trust your fingers. If you start writing a character or scene differently from the one in your head, let it flow – see where it goes first. Don’t rein yourself in too much;
- There should be a little applet for Scrivener or WP apps that you can load with your own personal cliche list. I used the expression ‘wheezed asthmatically’ three times – all of them have since been struck. There are far too many ‘arghs’ and ‘ahas’ as well. And the less said about the MMS and DA homage bits. La la la.
Hurry up people. Read. *Smile*.
Patience, souphopper… patience.