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2003

October

  • Editing, Editing, 1,2,3

    I’m still knee-deep in the edits, and you might be wondering what the hell I’m actually doing all this time. Basically at this stage in the book’s life (the end of draft 5), I’m looking for three things:

    1) Checking that the edits I’ve put through actually make sense. These were additions to develop a theme that had been underexpressed in the earlier drafts. I was worried these would feel bolted on and not flow with the rest of it, so I’m smoothing them in a little more, and making sure I didn’t just repeat myself half a dozen times throughout the book and call that developing a theme.

  • Dreaming of P45

    My dreams sometimes have a coherent plot to them, and last night’s was great, incorporating Busaras and the P45 site reworked as the submarine thing from The Matrix. Problems with the site were represented by leaking pipes on board the craft, and there was a guy there fixing them.

  • New light through old windows

    I’m working away on the edits, and that’s going well if slowly. It’s like uncovering a version of the book that I have in my head, rather than creating something new. If I could just chip away at all the crap in the way, while still knowing where to stop.

    On the marketing front, myself and the publisher have been working on blurbs and bios and stuff - material to give to booksellers, and to find its way into press releases and the like. After so long being so close to it, it was very refreshing to hear the publisher’s description of the book - actually sounds like something I’d be interested in reading. Which can only be a good thing.

  • Pity the trees

    I don’t need a psychologist, I’ve got an editor. I just met up with her there, to go over the transcript again. She’d spotted all the areas where I was being a bit mealy-mouthed, or trying to paint over certain things.

    But basically it’s clear what I have to do for the final version before the copy edit. Put a bit more of me in there, play down some of the duller days when I’m not talking to anyone and everything’s going fine, and add a few more entertaining digressions. It’s a fair bit of work, but it will definitely improve the finished book.

    For those of you who are counting, this will be draft 4 since I sent it to them, and you can add one full revision before that, plus the valuable input from a couple of trusted friends. That’s a lot of work, and you can really see where it’s gone, when I think of the earlier versions.

    There’s one downside to all this improvement - it means printing out another 230 pages, so it’s not much fun if you’re a tree.

  • Day job vs. real job

    rizzoli contractSwitched on the radio this morning to hear my friend Kevin Stevens on Radio 1, talking about his new book, The Rizzoli Contract.

    I worked with Kevin in CBT Systems/Smartforce/Skillsoft/Whatever, and he always had a writing project on the go, in addition to whatever dull work we were being paid to do. How he found the time was impressive, with his family commitments too. He never complained about having to do the day job either. And now his book’s out.

    It’s a useful lesson for me. After three days back at work, I’m feeling frustrated I’m not working on the Mississippi book, but too tired when I come in to get stuck in. And being newly married, it wouldn’t be great if I retreated up to the office for hours in the evening anyway.

    Currently, I have to just keep positive about the day job, and disciplined enough to get some work done on book 2 (plus more Accidental Pilgrim edits coming soon). It’s an attitude thing, and right now, mine’s not the best.

  • Cover design

    So the publishers have been in touch with a rough of the cover design. Can’t really show it here, but it’s pretty good.

    My fear, given the subject matter of the book, was that it would be all Celtic-tinged new agey high crosses and swirly script. Or, going for the funny angle, would depict a monk on a bike.

    It’s neither - it works well, and also has one thing that brought me up short when I first saw it.

    My name front and centre. How very weird.