Today I carried out the self-imposed task which I had been dreading and looking forward to almost equally: I re-read the draft of ‘The Lion and Unicorn Quest’ I wrote in November. This is probably the scariest moment during the writing process, especially if the whole thing has been written in a rush, to a deadline, without any time to review chapters as you go along.
I may be fooling myself – I do that sometimes, for the amusement as much as anything else – but I think I actually have the kernel of quite an interesting novel there. The beginning reads a bit awkwardly, as I try to force myself into a Fifties mindset and style of dialogue, but by the end I was more relaxed, as indeed were the characters. The gap in the plot I noticed even as I was going along is still there, of course, and I have very little idea of how to fill it but knowing the final outcome will help with that. The plot hangs together better than I remember, which is a relief as I thought I had added one twist too many and confused myself. I still have to jump through all the usual hoops such as sentences in the wrong order, over-used words and so on. My point of view shifts may not be clearly enough signalled so I will have another look at that. And in spite of my best efforts I am sure some phrases have crept in which weren’t in use during the 1950s and will have to be ruthlessly culled at some stage.
I think I have only two fairly major concerns about ‘The Lion and Unicorn Quest’ at this point. One is that astronomical feeling again. Should I write more in this novel to explain some of the events referred to in a couple of early chapters? Or should it go in a separate story, novella or novel? I am tending towards the separatist solution to this one. My other main concern is about my final chapter, which I absolutely love – it’s perhaps my favourite of all the chapters I’ve ever written. The only problem with it – which may not be a problem at all – is the deliberate loose end that is left dangling. I’m afraid this will be frowned on by some readers.
And so the editing process begins.
2 Replies to “I think there’s something in it.”
I just wanted to let you know that I had really enjoyed Crime in the Community which I downloaded as a free eBook from Amazon. I will certainly be happy to actually buy your books in the future.
Your book was lighthearted and a very relaxing read, the plot was engaging and the characters sympathetic. I’m a school and university teacher by profession and have to read lots of serious textbooks on maths and economics, so I don’t like to read anything too serious. I enjoy detective and mystery stories; Holmes, Rebus, Morse or Robert Goddard novels. The trouble is I’ve read most of those and haven’t had much success with other stories. There are usually too many murders or a child abduction at the centre; too upsetting as reading for pleasure.
I won’t have internet access for a few days so I won’t be able to actually pay for another novel yet but I’m sure to enjoy what you do.
Thanks very much indeed, Jonathan, it’s great to hear from you. I’m glad you enjoyed ‘Crime in the Community’ and I hope you’ll like the others in the series when you get to them.
The one I’m working on at the moment is a bit different, set in the 1950s with different characters, but I’m hoping people who have read the others may enjoy it too.