|Image: Ranse Parker
Over the past few days I imposed internet silence on my activities in order to focus on one important task: completing the manuscript of GREENER IS THE GRASS. And last night, I finished it.
It’s a crashing wave of excitement, relief and achievement that hits when one completes a full manuscript—novella or full novel—because of the work that goes into it. The book, which was conceived during an earthquake while on holiday in Rhodes in 2008, has had many rewrites, but interestingly enough only by red-penning it was I able to remove a further 12 pages from the total count. That’s 12 pages of surplus words, indulgent prose and tightened sentences.
So now two things happen: 1) I contact my trusted readers to see if any of them are willing to be the first to put eye to paper 2) I get fired into my next incomplete manuscript, which in this case, is BACCARA BURNING.
So what a weekend it was. As you can tell, most of my time was spent working on GREENER, ploughing through all the red marks, making changes, reading, re-reading and applying my strictest head of editorial logic. Aside from that there were a few other things to catch up on.
On Friday night I attended the 60th birthday party of the mother of a friend in the Queen Charlotte Rooms in Leith. If you remember, I was exhausted after a very long week and didn’t really fancy it, but after a long shower, bowl of carbonara and a couple of cold pints of Tennent’s Lager, I was feeling much like my old self. So much so, I found myself enjoying the delights of the Jägermeister monster before the night was out.
Saturday was a day spent entirely in the confines of my home, tidying and writing—writing hard not just on GREENER but also on the final assignments of the story building workshop at the Muse Online Writers’ Conference. I have a fully fledged short story, which with a bit of polishing will be prime meat for a hungry crime or thriller magazine.
The methods I’ve learned over the last week from expert tutor, Devon Ellington, will serve me well. So very often do I get ideas for great scenes, that sometimes never get seen again as they disappear back into the ether or into a page in my notebook. Using this new method, I can write out the scene and then work on it to flesh out a full story. I just know it’s going to be a valuable weapon in my writing arsenal.
Sunday I nipped up town for a break and a coffee, and then spent the whole day working on the manuscript. A pretty solid writing workout I’m sure you’ll agree, and with NaNoWriMo in the offing very much a good thing. To let my hair down, I topped the day off with an amazing lamb madras from The Prince Balti House.
My fiction priorities for the remainder of the month are now to start work on a new draft of BACCARA, set myself up for NaNoWriMo, and complete the short story from the Muse Conference.
Until the morra!
Grab issue 24 of Open Wide Magazine for only £1 (one British pound) and you can read my short story, LETTING GO. It’s well worth it!
Get 25% off STELLA, my spy novella with a twist, when you order the e-book from the publisher’s website at www.eternalperss.biz. Simply quote 612JMZN67VZX at checkout.