I’ve been reading a lot and writing a lot and thinking a lot–but not blogging about it. The reason is that I’m hard at work on the last draft of the last book. I haven’t yet received my editor’s notes, but I wanted to take advantage of her being away for a couple of weeks to read through the ms on my own first. Having done that, I decided to have a first pass at revision, knowing in general what she was after and having gauged my own reactions after the ms had been laid aside a good while.
I’ve been working long hours, spending time, lots of time, in picking out the right word or phrase where the wrong one had jumped out during my reading. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on one particular aspect of the novel, which has been a thorn in my side since the beginning.
It doesn’t amount to a lot proportionately, maybe 15-20 pages scattered throughout, but it’s immensely important to the psychology of the novel. It can’t be cut, but it’s a challenge to get right, putting something essentially non-verbal into words that don’t sound kitschy or purply or incomprehensible.
I’ve tried a number of failed approaches, like Edison’s light bulb, not 10,000 of them (his non-working bulbs), but enough. And I hope this time I’ve got it.
When I’m done with this go-round I should have time to take a break before getting the notes, and then with her notes in hand can have another look at what I’ve done and make further changes.
I’ve read How Fiction Works, Persuasion, Ali Smith’s The First Person and Other Stories, and am currently reading a book of crime fiction, but at the end of the day am too exhausted to say anything very intelligent. I hope it’s all going into the draft!