15 February, 2011

Nose, meet Grindstone

I'm at that stage in my novel re-write where it's all about endurance. The first few chapters needed to be re-written entirely and in another few chapters time I need to do the same, but for now the only alterations are little tweaks here and there. In a way it's a good place to be as progress is fast - I am about half-way through the re-write now - but by the end of the week, it can also feel like a bit of an uninspiring trudge. I reached the end of last week with my head on my desk. I tried to read back what I'd written, on Friday evening, but I was in no state to judge what I'd done - to me, everything sounded terrible and overwritten. I think if I'd let myself edit my work when I was that tired, I would have ripped out about half of it and ended up with a list of bullet points!

Yesterday I decided to take another day off the novel in order to fulfill my obligation to the short story anthology I'm meant to be contributing to. Having had some feedback on the first couple of drafts I spent the day working on the final (or nearly-final) version. The deadline is soon, but as long as the publishers get my contract to me in time, I am sure I'll make it. I just need to think of a title...

So today it's back to The Crosser of the Worlds for me. I need to spend a few hours editing last week's work and then it's onwards and upwards I hope. I have got my hero, Kit, off the world that I find it hardest to write about, so I see a ray of sunshine ahead for this week! I just need to find some inspiration. Thank God I live in such a beautiful place and with such a supportive husband - those two things keep me sane and happy however much my nose is being ground. The photo is just one of many I have taken recently that makes me smile. This is taken from on top of the hill I can see from my study window, I love being so close to places like this. I've definitely been more inspired and focussed to write since moving here. What inspires you with your writing or with your work?


  1. London does! And big open spaces like your photo. And knowing that at some point it'll leave the desk and go outside and meet people.

  2. Steinway pianos, the view from our practise rooms on 2nd floor, the view from the train window going from our house to Charing Cross, Beethoven's Tempest Sonata, Debussy, Chopin, Bartok Piano Concertos, poems, stories, coffee, Pecan Pie!!


  3. Pecan pie is a must! In fact most forms of pie and/or cake make me willing to at least get up in the morning, if not actually write anything worthwhile!

  4. I wrote a piece cos I liked the way a 3-note chord sounded on a big steinway.

  5. I guess that means the piece has to be played on a big steinway to get the full effect. I'm impressed you can write a whole piece from that - that's like me writing a whole story based on a nice simile.

  6. Having the self-discipline to leave the novel aside to write for the anthology shouldn't be under-rated. I think that shows true professionalism.
    When you go back to the novel after a break... however long, it will give you a fresh perspective.
    Pleased to read such an upbeat account of your progress.
    On inspiration, I would have to say music, the Scottish Highlands and Berlin. I know you couldn't get much different, but they all work for me in their own way.

  7. The main motivator for me is quite simply the thought of bringing joy to others.


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