Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Poised...for 'write bytes'

I am poised to begin another redraft...though I know ( AND HAVE HAD FEEDBACK) that's I 'm nearly there it still seems daunting. The only way is to look at what I now have to do in terms of 'write bytes ' - discrete sessions where I focus on one or two tasks. I will now - after I've downed another cup of tea, get on with the redrafting of the latest chapter I tutorialed with Emma last week and integrate it into the manuscript.

On Sunday I interviewd a PhD student at London University SEES to check again the detail of the back story of my novel and make sure I have accurately portrayed every thing according to the cultural norms and chronology of the time period. The interviewee was immensely helpful - also with language issues - so I now have a template for Almir's speech pattern, but will probably leave this aspect until I have done everything else as I will have to go through the entire novel from start to finish with only this in mind.

Bren Gosling

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Letting it brew !

Have now recieved all four sets of feedback from my trusted guniea pig readers - overall very positive but I do need to make some changes and complete another redraft. Had a 2 hour tutorial with Emma Sweeney my mentor yesterday which was really helpful as usual. I have distilled what I need to do , what I don't need to do and what I can do optionally. But it seems an endless task, this writing a novel business! I completed a re working of my synospsis (last tackled well over 12 months ago) which was a very helpful excersize at this point in focussing on plot again. I took the best part of 7 hours - split over an evenning and an afternoon - to get it shaped into a tight 500 words. It reads much more 'immediate' now. I am having a day off from writing today. After yoga in my hotel room then breakfast I went for a long walk along the Altoner Balkon (I am in Hamburg for Queer Tango) in the warm autumn sunshine(such lovely weather, it would have been a crime not to be out enjoying it) then had something to eat and now I am back, need to rest before going out later to dance tango. Even though I know having a day off from writing IS the right thing to do I still miss it and still feel guilty I am not at the page with a pen poised.

Bren Gosling

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Waiting in the wings and doing the right thing.

I have had feed back from two of my four readers - and both are really positive, although I'll need to make a few more tweaks and probably need to add one more scene/chapter. Waiting for the other two sets of feedback is a bit like waiting in the wings to go on stage. I am plagued with angst about the impression my "performance" will give to my audience.

I was a little miffed when I had dinner with one of the four readers on Friday, expecting a full feedback only to discover the reader had only got as far as page 35 and, contrary to my specific requests, had embarked upon a close read and mark up. This particular reader is the only one of the four who knows my characters to any real degree. He was my original mentor, though is not specifically a creative writer - more an academic one. That explains his habitual inability to refrain from marking up I guess. I did feel rather flat after seeing him though as he said to me he felt he knew what was comming in the novel, because he already knew the story . This is partly true but not really. He did know alot about the story as it stood when it was a short piece more than 2 years ago but it has changed almost beyond recognition. It has made me think that probably it's not a good idea to give your manuscript to people who already know (or think they know) too much about your plot and characters. This reinforces what I thought about holding off from showing anything more to agents who've asked to see more - other than the completed finished manuscript in it's enitity when it's ready. How else can one gauge what impression someone will have of the novel as a whole. If they 've seen substantial bits, in my view, the overall impact is lessened as they can half guess what they think will follow.This may or (in my case) maynot be accurate. So I think have done the right thing in holding off from submitting anything more to agents until I have the whole manuscript ready.
And this is now only a few weeks off.
Ben Gosling