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. 


Amber said...

I like those black & white pics from the old GDR days. Very atmospheric! Will you posting some more information about the new book on the future posts; and how long will it be before I can get hold of a copy? (What is the length of the publishing cycle these days, from this point, typically?)

Philip S said...

Thanks, Amber. The average publishing cycle is about a year, although it can be less when a book is expected (i.e. when the publishers know it's coming and that they are likely to want it). In this case, I can't say, since the book is not yet formally delivered. But I will post more information about the contents, here and on my web site, over the coming months.

Hosted BES said...

Very eager to get hold of your new book. Is it something related to history.

Philip S said...

The setting is the mid 1980s, before the fall of the Berlin Wall - which I count as a historical event. That said, the Historical Novel Society defines a historical novel as one set at least 50 years ago. So you can take your pick!