Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Conf 66 Reading Aloud

No. of words: 0
No. of final demands in post: 1

Felt a bit glum after writing group on Monday.

The standard was so high and I felt it. They'd heard most of mine before (as I'm still on sodding Chapter 1) so there wasn't much to say, but as I read it aloud I could tell there was still a long way to go before I could move onto Chapter 2. One useful comment was the general dislike of the new name (Cheryl) for main character so it's back to the old name (Sally) for now.

Yesterday very much a coalface day but today things started happening. The all-important opening paragraph has changed completely. It now kicks off right at the crux of the matter, no messing. I'll probably be scrapping most of those 20,000 words I sent out & moving forwards pretty swiftly with the rest of the story. I've also decided to introduce flashbacks, which will bring a whole new perspective.

JH, too, is finding new directions. She was back, all refreshed from her Arvon course, and her novel, first draft completed, has veered in a brand new direction. The new piece she read on Monday evening was stunning, very Martin Amis. As we all said, it just goes to show, you can't underestimate the importance of mulling. Of letting your novel grow of its own accord. Of standing back and letting it ferment for a while and then finding new tangents coming at you out of the blue. In JH's case she has a whole new perspective on one of the main characters, whose voice is now there in first person right the way through. She found the Arvon experience as wonderful as everyone had told her it would be. I wish I could go.

Grumpy old bookman has done a breakdown of my royalty statement today. It's a real insight into the way the publishing game works and I'm very grateful to him. I have to admit, I am so dumb that when I saw my bottom line, I thought that was how much they'd lost with me. Who could have foreseen I'd have more people reading my sad royalty statements than I do my books.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

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