Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Double agent day went well.

The estate agent was much more reasonable in the flesh. Saw how well the house was kept and said the landlords'd be mad to increase the rent above inflation and risk losing us, even though they could get more.

Long discussion with the literary agent in the afternoon about my novel. The first time I discuss the characters with somebody as if they're real people always feels so peculiar. I do it in little snatches all the time in our writing workshops, but this is somebody coming at the whole picture from scratch, as a reader would. Up until then, the characters have been people in your head you've been constructing on paper, so part of them IS you, or me, but several times removed. They're fleshed out in your mind, but not in the air, in serious discussions. I find myself wanting to say, look, she's not real you know, which is stupid, but the feeling of peculiarity is there. It's also very exciting. Anyhow I've now got a rewrite, taking on board the spectacularly useful advice given. It's scripty in part, too much dialogue. In my fear of getting too introspective and reflective, I've gone too far the other way, and my trick of turning 'tells' into dialogue hasn't come off. The other big problem is the emotional arcs, which aren't central enough at the moment, replaced by too much sex. Scarily I fear that could actually be a part of me, the non-emotional coldness, not the sexual overkill (sadly), eep. Anyhow, I'm looking forward to receiving her marked up script. I'll be taking it to France on Saturday, along with a few charity shop commercial fictions I'm going to pick up this afternoon to write all over as I deconstruct a few others' emotional developments. Ready, hopefully, for a full-on rewrite storm-through in September.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Have just enjoyed a wonderful week in Provence and will shortly be off for two weeks in Brittany, all thanks to the kindest of friends. We are in crux in every direction so it's so good to be able to change the patterns and be away for a while. Tomorrow I have the estate agent coming to revalue the house we're in so they can put the rent up (but it's WAY undervalued! she says merrily on the phone. The good thing is it's of no matter as we couldn't afford to stay even if the rent was the same). I also have just had an e-mail in from the literary agent asking me to call her in the morning. Now I'm all for change but am starting to feel a bit jittery. Meantime it's Richmond writers' pub night tonight, and, despite a week of guzzling rosé by the pool, am going on the bus so I can have a fortifying Guinness or two. Life is good.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Friday, August 03, 2007


After about a month of leaving it in a drawer, have been revisiting the second half of Novel 4. Have started a page by page edit, seeing if I can cut anything out, improve, intensify. It's good to read it without knowing exactly what's coming next. I've also re-done the front page with my lovely new title and opened a new file.

Going on hols tomorrow, so have e-mailed the latest drafts to myself just in case the burglars get in. I thought about printing it out and taking it with me to work on, but have decided that if I do anything at all, it'll be more development of the new character in that section. I know he needs some TLC. Coming in, as he did, at a later stage he's not had the attention some of the others have had. It makes such a difference, knowing it's now a wanted novel instead of a maybe-it'll-be-published-one-day novel, and certainly concentrates the mind. I can't say anything more about the business side at the moment, but please put a couple of fingers by to keep knots for me.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.