A lot of today has been spent writing ‘Long summer of war’. I want it done by the end of the coming weekend; I’m not too far off. Then it’s back to BHTS2 and doing a second draft.
When I wrote BHTS2, everything quickly went up in the air. I found out that I had agent troubles, and what had seemed like a sure sale on ‘Bringing home the stars’ had faded away as charlatons of the publishing world had meddled and messed. Fast forward on a few months and things are a different story. ‘Bringing home the stars’ has been printed and awaits the official release date to go on general sale. Deals are being done behind the scenes to ensure that it appears in high street bookstores and more besides. Once all that is sorted, then it is on to the promotion itinery. A part of me doesn’t know quite what to expect, whilst another part is secretly quite excited.
It makes it all the more important to have BHTS2 done. A first draft is a major milestone, but it is only a part of the way towards getting a book bublished. I need a proper title for a start (‘Twinkle little star’ is the James Pattersonesc title I have in mind). Then there is the ‘heavy edit’ as I call it which is the first pass through the book, seperated by a little time from the creative process of writing it. Usually I have to work at translating some of the hastily typed paragraphs into understandable English. At times it is almost amusing as to what the hell was I trying to say? But a second draft is a good refinement, and it gets closer to publishing quality. I usually give Zoë the second draft to read, and she makes notes then I go to a third draft to refine yet further. Usually, this is the first draft that publishers and agents get to see. I think that’s important, as rushing stuff out to these people kind of deadons the impact when you need the impact. I’d rather they saw a polished product than one that, like my old school reports, could be described with the phrase “Nice work, but must try harder” (do Teachers the country over have a book of stock phrases to use on reports?).
I’m also finding that I need to get out of the house more. I think when you spend so much time locked to a keyboard in an office typing away, it’s easy to get cabin fever. This last week I’ve only made it as far outside in the main as the back garden to repair my new boat. But it’s a start. I get to take it and put it on water tonight for the first time. Let’s hope it floats. Given the recent hot weather, let’s hope that there is water at the reservoir to float it in.