Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Confession 10 Proof Reading, Nightmare

Moving from the first person to the third:

Started the morning with http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/ , all about Virginia Woolf today. She delivered her first MS, The Voyage Out, to her publishers on this day in 1913. It took her seven years to write. She wrote "I have wasted all my time trying to begin things and taking up different points of view, and dropping them, and grinding out the dullest stuff, which makes my blood run thick." When the proofs arrived, she hated reading them so much she had one of her nervous breakdowns and took two years to recover. Reading proofs is horrible. When I got mine I couldn't believe I'd written such crap and that it was on its way out there for all to read (not that many as it happens). I drive past Virginia's old house in Paradise Road every morning on my way back from the school run. I always give it a nod and am pleased when there's a traffic jam so's I can sit and imagine her at the doorstep, off on one of her walks. The Voyage Out took 15 years to sell 2,000 copies.

A non-fiction-free day today. Unfortunately that means a non-income day as well but I'm trying not to panic. The woman's magazine called again last night, a different editor this time, wanting my advice on fake tanning lotion. It could be the start of something big.

The novel is tedious and I'm finding any excuse to stop. I'm going in from Chapter One, changing all the I's to she's, plain and simple. It's no fun when it's such ploddy work like this. The best way, I've found, to get a novel finished is to move on with the story every day and the brain eventually begins to engage of its own accord, but that doesn't kick in until about a third of the way in for me. I've done four chapters over two days: 9081 words, nearly a tenth of the way. (But also have been working on extra non-fiction stuff. I don't think I got the web job, by the way, and I definitely didn't get the newspaper job, oh well, but a new contact made and there might be something in the future. Who knows.)

Partner pointed out this piece last night, it's the Sunday Times TV critic A A Gill on the difficulties of adapting the first person novel for the screen:


I love A A Gill. He does restaurants as well:


Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


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