The Marination Process

No, that  isn’t a novel title, although having said that it looks a bit as if it could either have a cold war spy theme, or be some sort of bio-thriller. I just thought I would say something about why I always have to leave my writing to lie around doing nothing for a while once I get to the end of the first draft. Because I don’t really have an image that expresses the idea of marination, I will use a picture I took yesterday while waiting for my first tram.

At the tram stop in Shandwick Place
Waiting for the tram

I suppose the link here is that this was a project that took a long time to marinate! Incidentally, until yesterday I felt as if I was the only person in Edinburgh who hadn’t yet sampled the trams. I was reluctantly impressed.

The reason for leaving it to marinate is that I need to get some perspective about the novel, and in particular about the plot, which seemed so logical and believable while I was writing it, and which will probably turn out to be as watertight as a sieve when I read it through again without the pressure of having to make it up as I go along. Why did I introduce a character in chapter 2 and then forget all about him? (It’s quite surprising how often this happens!) Where did the person who was originally supposed to be central to the story disappear to after chapter 23? (Again, this is only too common) What on earth was Mr or Ms X doing in that particular place in the middle of the night?

Sometimes I put off starting again because I already know there is something so badly wrong that I will have to take the whole thing to pieces and start all over again, but on this occasion I don’t think that should be necessary. All the pieces are there and more or less in the right order. I think all I need to do is to explain some aspects of it a bit better. But of course I won’t know that for sure unless I can get to the point where it can begin to surprise me as I re-read it. So I’m using all my will-power and a lot of distraction to stop myself from re-opening the Word file too soon. At this rate I should last at least until Monday.

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