I promised an update and here it is. Hopefully sometime next week I’ll find some time to write about how Thailand is managing and perhaps provide a crystal ball on some things I think will happen this year.
I’m back into editing after a spell away from the book. It’s a problem with the stop/start approach especially when you don’t plot. If you’ve followed my writing story from way back when then you’ll know I never outline a book – not to say I won’t ever outline a book but so far I haven’t done it. I think of an idea and then start writing and the characters take over – after that I’m simply the medium through which they tell their story.
When that flows it is an amazing feeling – the ancient Greeks believed it was a Daemon, and Romans thought it was a genius who lived in the very fabric of the walls of the creator’s abode. Others call it a muse. Whatever you call it if it doesn’t show up when you do or if it shows up but you’re distracted then the writing is going to take a hit. When that happens as it has a few times since starting Bangkok Heat – I fall back to Hemingway’s method of getting back into it, “Write a single true sentence.” And I go back and edit everything I’ve written to that point.
The editing process achieves a couple of things:
- It tidies up a lot of errors which are always there in the first draft, editing as you go, you’ll still miss a lot and there are always ways to improve upon a text.
- it reminds you of all the sub threads woven into a plot (the sub threads are all important parts of the story but sometimes you can also cull threads that don’t really add anything of value to either plot, characters or ambience.
Right now I am at about 45,000 words and my books are usually in the eighty to eight-five thousand words category; I’m a little concerned that this one may be longer than normal as there still seems to be a lot to get through. I said above that I don’t outline, what I should have written more accurately is that I don’t write an outline. I have a general story guide in my head, and sometimes whole scenes that are towards the end of the story i.e. in Bangkok Burn I had the idea of the riots as a constant background to the story, the idea of the heir apparent not wanting to continue the life because of a woman he’d fallen in love with, and also the crocodile farm. [spoiler alert] The scene with Ken and the crocodile I envisioned very early but how to get to that point was entirely unknown.
I cannot and will not put any stress or pressure on myself to finish anything at a set time – when it is written to my satisfaction – that will be when I send it off to an editor – above all, I have to be happy with what I put out into the world and that has to be the best that I can do. be assured though as soon as it is done – I will let you know.
Hope you’re all safe and happy and remain that way.