Saturday, 14 January 2012

Brain Mush

I have completed the latest draft of Fall.  Unfortunately, my brain has collapsed into such a state of barely-mush at the moment that I can't figure out whether or not I'm actually happy with it.  I'd like to say that am I, but my main lasting impression of the thing was my fairly frequent desire to throw my computer out the window when the too-long chapters wouldn't split up nicely into more manageable chunks.

Obviously that's my fault, not the computer's (yes, I did just defend a piece of technology) but when you need to cut down a chapter and you're smack bang in the middle of a never-ending conversation, you're likely to blame the nearest inanimate object to hurl abuse at.  Or at least, that's what I do.

So instead of contemplating Fall, I have decided to turn my frazzled brain to Hide and See, all of twelve minutes after sending Fall off to one of my very kind volunteer readers.  This seems like a very bad move but I never was a big fan of logic.  If I was, I'd have chosen a more sensible aspiration in life - like becoming an accountant.  Or an engineer.  Or a thousand other things which actually generate an income.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that I need to re-write the first fourteen chapters of Hide and See.  Or rather I re-affirmed my decision to do this.  The idea has been floating around in the murky recesses of my mind for a few weeks now so can't be blamed entirely on post-Fall brain mush.

As much as I'm able to read through these first fourteen chapters and think 'yeah, they're okay', I don't want them to be 'okay'.  I want them to be good.  Well, really, I want them to be great but I think that's being a tad unrealistic.  And as I'm generally pretty shite at editing, I don't think there's any way that I can edit the existing chapters into better shape.

I don't want to disregard the chapters completed, though.  There will probably be a few bits that I'll want to keep.  My mission, therefore, should I chose to accept it, will be to find that all-illusive happy medium of keeping some stuff and chucking other bits away.  A lofty ambition indeed.

But I definitely need to do something.  I'm still haunted by a lecturer's comment that it felt like Bridget Jones.  Not that there's anything especially wrong with Miss Jones, but it really wasn't what I was going for.  In fact, I have no idea how I managed to do it.  Accidental chick lit.

Okay, time to stop waffling.  We're off out for a family meal in less than an hour and I'm still sat here in my over-big hoody and falling-apart slippers.  Stylish.


  1. How can Hide and See be confused with chicklit? Just because it has a female protagonist and she's got a sharp wit? Or because there's a love interest? I DON'T think you accidentally wrote chicklit, having read the whole thing!

    I know it sounds cruel, but is it worth jumping in at the action, and telling what needs to be told in flashback? That gets you out of the office, as it were, and onto the rollercoaster. It's an awful lot to change, I know. I've just done something similar to my next book, having lovingly written a gentle slide into the book I've thrown that out and started with finding a baby's bone down a well...

    1. I did originally have flashbacks in the first draft of the beginning chapters but for some reason it didn't work - possibly because the 'Seer' elements (dreams, visions etc) sort of operate as flash forwards. I think I'd confuse the reader with too many points in the timeline to keep track of.
      But you're right, I do need a more exciting start. I was considering writing the raid which, at the moment, is only referred to by Rhonda and Joel but never actually seen.