January 29th, 2006

View from study (sunny)

Writing progress

Pages revised today: 10
Pages revised total: 228
Pages remaining: 12
Percentage complete: 95%
Reason for stopping: End of Chapter 2. Need to get some exercise before beginning the OU marking.

Almost completed this revision pass. I might even finish tomorrow. Then I'll need a swift spell checking pass as I print out each chapter before sending the whole thing out to my first readers.

Then I plan to let it sit for a few weeks while the readers read and I start brainstorming the next novel.

Then will come the final revision pass, tweaking things in response to comments and taking into account the points made in Donald Maass's book Writing the Breakout Novel. This is my current reading and I'm finding that it's concentrating my mind most wonderfully. I'm sure it's not a book for everyone, but I'm beginning to see that I like How To writing books on a single topic -- in this case on how to make your novel that bit more intense in order to "break out". (He defines a breakout novel as either a best seller or one that demonstrates a noticeable step up in the level of skill and competence and readibility.)

Although many beginning writers comfort themselves with the idea that the slush pile is full of crap, I have my suspiscions that this isn't in fact the case. Anyway, the competition in the getting published race is not the people who write crap (they'll be immediately rejected without a qualm). The competition is the people who write perfectly servicable novels. In the past I wrote a perfectly servicable novel and nearly got it published. In the end, it didn't make it because it was deemed to be a mid-list novel -- and as we all know, there's no room for the mid-list any more.

This novel has got to be be a whole lot better than the last one to even stand a chance.

But, hey ho! Onwards and upwards! Progress is looking good.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
228 / 240

Winter evening

Short walk on a winter evening...

grey mountain, pale sky
catkins shiver on bare twigs
woodsmoke in the air

The sky was absolutely cloudless and there were three jets, high up, trailing short salmon pink vapour trails.
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