Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Just a thought...

This month's target is to finish the mystery I've been working on for two years. This latest revision started out as a proofreading exercise and ended up with some major plot changes. I came unstuck last December trying to write the synopsis, I think realising that the middle section didn't have enough meat on it and more was needed. It's meant introducing two new characters so quite a major overhaul. But I'm starting to see the end, so it shouldn't be too long now.
I was intending to get cracking on the comic novel but I'm letting that cook a while longer, although I have some ideas. It might end up being a play, in fact. I haven't decided.
It's not that easy to divide your attention. For a while I was writing one book in the morning and revising another one in the afternoon but I don't know whether I'd try it again. It takes me a while to get into the mind set of a book, and switching between them is a bit of a stretch. I suppose if you're working to a deadline you have no choice.
One thing I'm planning to include in the new story is a peer review group, because I think there's lots of scope for comedy in these crits. Here is a sample:

Hi Wetwarbler, here are my thoughts about your piece. I loved it really, you have a marvellous talent although perhaps not for writing. But anyway please take or leave this crit as you see fit; it is only my opinion and I'm sure you'll find someone who'll enjoy it sooner or later.

I loved the opening sentence. I could just picture him on the chimney stack in his wife's underwear, but would it perhaps be better to make his sexuality less obvious? Keep the reader guessing? Just a thought. Your description of the bun fight was a bit long at seven pages, you could easily cut it down to a paragraph, or even a sentence, or even cut it altogether. Is it really necessary at all? Just a thought.
I got a bit confused in chapter two. I couldn't help wondering why Colonel Molotov kept asking Agnethe to dance. Is that feasible in a life raft? And didn't she die in chapter one? Or were there two Agnethes? Probably best not to have two or more characters with the same name. Just a thought.
I'm not sure most people would get the Chaucerian references in chapter three, and they do tend to confuse the issue in the rape scene. Out of interest, have you checked whether it is possible to get eight people into the boot of a mini metro?

1 comment:

Clare said...

Love that sample Sandra - you've got the tone exactly right. I would be correct in assuming that these pieces are works of fiction and not actual comments on your novel? Just a thought!!!!!