Saturday 23 June 2012

Elation and fear!

Why elation and fear I hear you ask? Well I am elated because I have finished the first draft of the rewrites and a week ahead of the deadline I had set myself. On the other hand, I am full of fear that it won't be what the editor wanted. I have to say it is not ready for her to see but I have something tangible to work with at least. A story with a beginning, a middle and an end, which seems to flow too. Miracle!

Of course, these are not emotions that only I have as a writer, I know we all go through them. Meg Rosoff wrote a great post the other day about finishing the book,which is well worth a look. I was delighted to read that some of her first drafts are 'thin'. I know that is a problem of mine but as I write cold and edit hot I should be able to sort that. My plan now is to print it off, have a quick look through it and create a book map (yes I know that is probably the wrong way round but it is the way I work), it will help me see where there are holes. (Thank you to IC for the map btw). I will then put it away for a a couple of weeks, maybe if I can be strong the whole of July, and then I will go back to it with eyes afresh. It will be that editing time where you have to distance yourself from the piece and read it as a reader and not as a writer this time. Should be fun.

This book is a rewrite of my PhD novel, last year's great achievement, but apart from some characters it bears very little relation to that story. Even the name has changed from Ham & Jam  to Trafficking. But I have to admit I think it is better for it. Don't get me wrong it was tough killing my babies like that. The PhD novel had been a huge part of my life for a very long time and it was hard to give up sometimes, however, you have to do these things all in the name of art.

I feel I am standing on the edge of the high wire (see Keren David's post where this idea came from and Candy Gourlay's brilliant response). It is a moment where there is a lot of potential ahead and it is down to me to make sure I make the most of it. That's another part of the fear - what if I waste it? But I mustn't think like that. It is all about looking forward. Having read Candy's post it made me thing of some high wire moments in my past where I haven't grabbed the moment and I deeply regret it. However, it is not all negatives, I have also grabbed several other moments and they have made a huge difference. One of which was making the decision back in 2002 to go to university after I had lost my business through illness. Who knew that that idea was going to take me to this point? It had been my way of not vegetating in the corner waiting to die as the medicos seemed to think I should, instead I found a whole new career and love of life. And I am sure it is going to continue like that.

I have pinched this from a friend's recent post because it is one of my all time favourite songs and I know I have used it before but hey who cares.

The Civil Wars and 'Dance me to the end of love'


  1. Well done, Ness! I'm so proud of you - and I can't wait to read it!

  2. Thank you Nicky, that means a lot coming from you. xx

  3. Bravo, Vanessa.
    I wish I knew what you meant by 'I write cold and edit hot' - I feel a bit thick.

  4. Oh don't feel thick at all, it is just something else I do the wrong way round when writing. I will do a post on it later on today and you will see how daft I am! ;-)

  5. Yes indeed! Bravo! Are you excited about returning to it?

    (Sorry for this late, late response but I have been spinning like a top and only just come to a stop)

  6. Oh Candy I am itching to get back to it but am determined to wait a bit longer so I can come back to it totally afresh.
    Thank you for the comment Candy, I know you have been frantic but I do hope you had time to enjoy it a bit and you are still firmly on top of that high wire.