Friday, January 22, 2010

No Friday Photo and metaphor madness

Ha! I thought writing the first draft was the mountain.

I’m laughing at myself now, only a little bit in desperation, because here I am standing on top of that peak and I see there’s another one, even higher up, in front of me. It must have been hidden by the clouds.

Of course I knew there would be hard work to do after the first draft… but I’m only just beginning to see HOW much.

I remember in the early days of learning to drive how difficult it was just to turn left. (I wasn’t one of life’s natural drivers.) I had to look in the rear view mirror, signal, press the brake, change down a gear with clutch and hand, start turning the wheel to the left to hug the edge of the road, look both ways on the road I was turning into… all within a split second. My driving instructor made me go around the same block about six times because I couldn’t do all those things at once.

Maybe it’s the same for everyone; perhaps I think too much about process. Anyway all I could do with the first draft was write chronologically – to consider anything else was madness.

Now, as the time lengthens between finishing the draft and the present, I’m beginning to think about structure. My thoughts are beginning to crystallise. Now that I can see the whole in my head I might be able to work out a plan.

But before I start rewriting, something else exciting has landed in my lap. I think an extra month away from the novel is probably quite a good thing.

Happy weekend everyone.

14 comments:

Queenie said...

Well, you're obviously getting the hang of cliffhangers, you tease! Gwaaaan, tell us, you know you want to (or, at least, you know we want to know)...

Debs said...

Do tell!

JJ Beattie said...

Hi Queenie and Debs, you want to know my exciting news huh?

You know I want to? Well, does it help if I say it's not related to the novel? Can you relax now?

SueG said...

I guess we'll have to just wait to hear the good news, or if you decide not to talk about it, just be thrilled for you and any good news you ever get on any front. As for this time away from the novel...I think of it as percolating time. It will sit there in your head bubbling away. I bet when you come back to it, you'll be running up that next mountain!

Flowerpot said...

Come on JJ - spill the beans!

ChrisH said...

Nooooooo! You can't leave us dangling like that!

Ellie said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean, I'm struggling with this one myself right now. I'm just hoping that the time I've spent away from it will mean that when I actually start writing again (hopefully this weekend) it will all fall into place...

And just because exciting news isn't novel-related doesn't mean we're not going to be curious - we're writers, we like knowing everything that's going on!

Denise said...

Noo, you can't leave us all dangling! I can tell you're writing one of those books you have to read in one sitting to find out what happens...

I'm with you on the editing mountain - where to start!

Carol said...

OMG your an evil woman....what what WHAT???

C x

Amanda said...

That's just cruel! ;-)

A space away from your novel before editing is a good idea though!

SpiralSkies said...

You tantalising tease!

I like your mountain metaphor - I've never considered before that editing might require Sherpas and an oxygen cylinder.

DJ Kirkby said...

What? What landed in your lap?

Liane Spicer said...

Tell, tell!

HelenMHunt said...

A break is a good idea, helps you see it more clearly when you go back. But don't leave it too long or you might lose some of your connection with it. (She says unhelpfully.)