Once More Unto the Breach

Copyright Freefoto.comExcruciatingly busy the past couple of days. However, just time to make a couple of com­ments on Things That Have Occurred To Me Recently. (I’m yet keen to write a mini review of Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun, but I’m still at the stage of tap­ping my teeth thought­fully and star­ing out of the win­dow.)

Luck

Via Steve Clackson, I’ve just come across a blog entitled ‘This Writing Life’ (trust me, there are loads) writ­ten by a pro­fes­sion­al scriven­er called Mark Terry. As I write this post, the top entry is one on luck. Quote of the day:

There’s a word to describe writers who don’t give up: pub­lished.

Nice.

Judgement

It seems that Waterstone’s has decided to ditch their online part­ner­ship with Amazon and set them­selves up with a fresh, spangly-new web­site to tout their wares. Joe Gordon — the ace blog­ger who was fired by Waterstone’s for post­ing uncensored com­ments about the work­ings of his Scottish branch — casts a wry eye over the pro­ceed­ings on his blog, the Woolamaloo Gazette. He points out that Waterstone’s were quick ditch an earli­er web­site that, in their pre-Amazon days, was an effect­ive sales con­duit. Why on Earth did Waterstone’s hand over a chunk of their busi­ness to Amazon? Joe has some ideas.

Luck and (hopefully) Judgement

Late this after­noon, I fin­ished the last major revi­sions to my com­edy nov­el Proper Job. This is now the fifth draft. Major changes were made to the first few scenes, which, though funny (accord­ing to my band of review­ers), read more like a series of sketches than the begin­ning of a nov­el. The prob­lem, as I see it, is that the nov­el is essen­tially a love story (in the sense that the rela­tion­ship between Fabe and Penelope provides the nar­rat­ive drive), so the bit lead­ing up to the intro­duc­tion of Fabe and Penelope seems a bit irrel­ev­ant to the read­er once they real­ize that ‘the game’ involves Fabe’s attempts to woo Penelope (and hold down a job, and make up with his broth­er; nos­suh, life ain’t easy for my char­ac­ters). The point at which the game is obvi­ously afoot tends to be the point at which the story starts, so I’ve re-ima­gined the begin­ning to make the ‘kick off’ come as early as pos­sible.

Two or three passes through the manu­script should pol­ish it to the degree where I won’t get any more shine (this is draft five, after all), and then I’ll begin the game of pit­ting my judge­ment (the book) and against luck (the unlikely pos­sib­il­ity that my manu­script finds an agent in a good mood, without dis­trac­tions, who shares my sense of humour, with a gap in his or her list, etc.).

Once more unto the, um, you know.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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