Monday, 12 May 2008

Finely Polished Words, in the pursuit of

A slightly late post this week.

It's been a fairly busy week this week. After the initial flurry of activity editing Act Two has frankly become a bit of a bitch. It's like starting a roll of sticky tape; I've just been skimming the surface unable to get my nail back underneath where it needs to be. It's getting easier, however, and I'm slowly getting back into it as I go.

I've written in new scenes I thought were needed, there's one I'm not sure will remain, there's a good chance it will get cut. Truth is I've never been sure about it, it breaks the flow of the story a little, I feel, but I really like the message it gives, I enjoy its juxtaposition with the status quo of the rest of the story, how human it is. So right now it has to stay until I either a) give in and delete it regardless or b) manage to fit the message in a different way. So that means it's just a massive A4 post-it note reminding me to try and get that message in.

In other news RWBW was rejected again. This time by Future Fire who said (and I quote):

"This was a well-written and convincing horror story, with nicely fleshed out characters and clever, well-paced narrative; the finale was especially chilling. However, the theme and content are not really what we are looking for in the magazine."

So that's 2 mags that loved the ending to 1 that hated it. A victory to me (for now).

That's all there is to report really this week. All there is left to do is copy and paste this section from Neil Gaiman's blog (link here to the full thing) which I found especially comforting and useful about the second draft stage.

"On the second and subsequent drafts, you do four things. 1) You fix the things that didn't work as best you can (if you don't like the climactic Rock City scene in American Gods, trust me, the first draft was so much worse). 2) You reinforce the themes, whether they were there from the beginning or whether they grew like Topsy on the way. You take out the stuff that undercuts those themes. 3) You worry about the title. 4) At some point in the revision process you will probably need to remind yourself that you could keep polishing it infinitely, that perfection is not an attribute of humankind, and really, shouldn't you get on with the next thing now?"

Thanks for reading.