Monday 17 May 2010


I had a good meeting with my DoS about a week ago on the creative piece of my PhD. He highlighted some things that he felt needed working on. As usual (and very irritatingly) he was right...again.
This weekend I worked on the chapters and made the changes he suggested. It was a very satisfying process. Maybe I am sad to enjoy editing/re-writing. But I like to see how you can mould the narrative and change that first inspirational moment into something sharp and sparky for the reader to read. I sometimes get students to play around with Plasticine and ask them to make something out of it. I relate it to the idea of writing and intervention with other stories. You know there are hints of whatever you have read or seen (or the original piece of Plasticine) in the final piece as they have developed and grown into something new and tantalising. Within the novel I am doing at the moment there is a blatant intervention with Tess of the D'Urbervilles and I am likely to have another one with Jane Eyre.
This morning I read Meg Rosoff's blog ( and she was talking about a similar process. She has completed the latest version of a book she is currently working on. She was talking about how she knows when the book is beginning to work and she suggested it is when you read and you think someone else wrote it. This is an interesting idea and I think something we have all experienced at some time.
It is an important idea to come to terms with and that is that editing is as, if not more, important than the getting the first draft down. It is where you can iron out mistakes, inconsistencies and add that bit of Mr Sheen to it (you polish it!)

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