For those who are wondering why I’m not writing more online at the moment, a brief update:
I’m currently working on the first/second draft of the novel I can’t talk about properly yet. I finished a very scrappy forty-thousand-word *thing* of it in mid-January, which was just enough for me to get the voices of the various narrators, figure out the plot problems I’d glossed over in the synopsis, and that sort of thing, but which isn’t something I would let anyone else read.
I’m currently taking a second pass over that. The book is forty chapters long, and I’m doing a chapter a day of rewriting and editing. I’m trying simultaneously to do two things in the rewrite — the first is to expand each chapter to between one-and-a-half and double the original length, so that I hit my target of sixty- to eighty-thousand words. The second is to make sure that I actually put the plot in, as sometimes I have a tendency just to fall in love with the voice of the narrators and have them waffle on about whatever’s in their heads.
Anyway, at a chapter a day of this I should be finished with the first ‘proper’ draft by the end of March, when I’ll be sending it off to the editor and several beta readers — who I expect to savage it, because it’s frankly an insanely ambitious thing to do as a first novel, so I’m expecting a *LOT* of notes and at least one or two more drafts before I can announce what the book is here.
Normally, that much writing — five hundred to a thousand words a day — would be nothing for me, but I’m also currently trying to reset my sleep schedule, because I start a new job next week on nine-to-five hours, rather than the flexitime I’m on at the moment, and for those who don’t know I have (I think) two separate sleep disorders (sleep apnea and delayed sleep phase disorder — which I’m finally getting round to getting tested for). That means that until I have forced my body to accept that yes, there actually is a seven in the morning, I am too tired and grumpy to write anything else coherent at all.
(This is also why I’ve been even worse at replying to emails than normal recently, so apologies in particular to Plok, Matt Rossi, Chris Browning, Tilt, Alex and Richard)
With luck, I’ll be able to get back to posting here and on Mindless Ones occasionally toward the back end of this week, but don’t expect much until April.
Gavin Burrows pays tribute to Kevin Ayers. I’m only really familiar with Joy Of A Toy, but that was an absolutely wonderful album.