Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Countdown to first draft

Lest those of you who know me through my writing feared that quilting had subsumed everything in my life let me reassure you - the countdown to first draft is now seriously on. I am now in the last month of my little mini-writing-sabbatical and I go back to work the first week in July. ( Of course when I say go back that now means 4 days not the anticpated 5 so its not really such a big thing but still it provides a watershed date). So the race is on to be able to send all my long suffering volunteer readers a complete ( if rough at the edges) novel by the end of the month. There are 8 workday writing days to go. (I.e i am cheating and not counting weekends or a trip to Ullapool in that!)

I have been writing all the chapters as separate word documents and fiddling as I've gone along so its not really first draft as such but I have now started to combine them. I'm up to Ch 25 - well over half way.

Its been interesting to read it in big chunks myself as a reader would. Many of the alterations I am doing as I collate are minor - tenses have slipped, pronouns are wrong and of course there is my irritating ( to at least one friend anyway) habit of not contracting pronouns and verbs in speech. A couple of scenes seemed stilted and have been rewritten. Then there are the bits where continuity has slipped - the bathroom in Anna's house moved from upstairs to a downstairs extension and back again!

One bigger dilemma at the moment is keeping the novel up to date. I'd like to think that the details about the court building add to authenticity and atmosphere. The problem is that its taken so long for me to write it that the family courts in Liverpool have now moved to an entirely different building. I would just change the description but several scenes are in the cafeteria - venue for much drama and soul searchng in family cases generally. Which is a problem because the new building has no cafeteria. ( A problem as both a novelist and a lawyer I might add! Now where am I going to send my distressed clients/ characters to calm down?) Plus there is a new procedure for children's cases being introduced next week... .I think the solution is just to date the novel and remind people it's fiction and I am allowed to make things up!

To an extent anyway. I've got to Chapter 25 and realised that I have a whole account of a Police interview even though no one has actually made a complaint to the Police. Ah. Oh well, at least I know where I am going to start work tomorrow!

I wanted to share some photos with you today but for some reason Blogger is refusing to take them so they will have to wait until tomorrow.

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