Saturday, 17 October 2009

More quotes

"People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it."
Harlan Ellison

Boy, don't I know it. I'm now forty chapters down on the Big Revision. Some bits fly past and don't need much work, other scenes need completely rewritten. So it's hard to know how fast I'm progressing. Forty chapters sounds a lot, but there's still the hardest part to come - the End. Apart from the beginning it's the most important bit to get right.

I do have mixed feelings about revisions. In some ways it's better than the first draft because the story is down, all you need is to add colour and texture. Other times it's headbangingly frustrating; trying to find the right mood, trying to steer the characters and make the dialogue believably real while serving the plot. When it's going badly it isn't going at all. Everything stalls. When it's going well it flies and nothing is more satisfying.

"Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet."

Another one that's funny and true. I spend too much time online, or have until lately. Nowadays I'm not getting as much satisfation from the various writers' groups I have belonged to in the last two years. The tips and advice seem to be on a loop and I've heard 99% of it before, the arguments never change and just wind me up. This week I've been so busy on the book I've only checked in briefly to make sure nothing major is going on, but I'm seriously considering giving up on them for good. Facebook is better for me, and as a friend observed this week, writing is really a solitary business and the fewer distractions we have the better.

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