Sunday, January 30, 2011

Put out the flags...?

On Friday I finished the first draft of the new book, which is set in the GDR, where my wife grew up. I originally intended to get to this stage at around the end of last October, but unforeseen family commitments put paid to that schedule, along with the fact that the draft itself came out a little longer than I'd thought. Still, three months isn't much slippage, and at no point did the writing dry up, get stuck or go off on any unhelpful tangents. Overall the drafting went better, and with fewer days in the creative wilderness than any book I've done before.

I'm now at the point I like most. I have all the material I need in front of me; now I get to cut, trim and polish it. I did a huge amount of editing in my journalism days, and I still enjoy working on a text, especially if I think I'm improving it. I even get a certain masochistic pleasure in cutting my own material. There's something bracing about slicing off unnecessary fat.

After this I shall have to start showing my work to other people - quite a lot of other people - and hoping they like it. But I won't dwell on that for now. The new draft is complete and I think it has come out pretty much as I'd hoped. I'll let that thought light up the night for now.