8 thoughts on “Please Please Me”

  1. Hi Ian, I fin­ished Deja Vu at the week­end. A great read — I really enjoyed it. I shall email you some thoughts, if you wish. But I wouldn’t want to be anoth­er cook peer­ing over the pot.


  2. I use the same film ana­logy with my own writ­ing pro­cess — espe­cially the bit where miles of expens­ive and hard-won foot­age ends up in the bin. (My BA is in film-mak­ing, although I nev­er did any­thing with it.)

    I’m also a fid­dler, and I also leap into sug­ges­ted edits with so much gusto the ori­gin­al sug­gester begins to won­der wheth­er they just lit a fuse.

    I’m not sure about the exact edit­ing pro­cess you employ, but this blog post of mine cov­ers the lat­ter part of the pro­cess, as exper­i­enced three times now with the same edit­or. Much of it will prob­ably ring bells.

    By the way, most of my nov­els have under­gone 30 drafts or more (prob­ably a lot more.) It’s not an end­less pro­cess because I treat dead­lines as abso­lutely pos­it­ively must-do, but there’s noth­ing to stop me spend­ing 17 hours a day work­ing on the manu­script before­hand, is there?

  3. Thanks your for com­ment, Simon. That was an inter­est­ing post. I think that one of the keys to writ­ing ‘pro­fes­sion­ally’ (in a sense that removes the usu­al fin­an­cial gain from the defin­i­tion) is the under­stand­ing that feed­back isn’t your worst but your best­est buddy. I think my own writ­ing stepped up a gear when I real­ised that. You’ve got to kill your babies left, right, centre (and fore and aft) and…well, I’ll leave it there (self-edit­ing…)

  4. I would be inter­est­ing in hear­ing how much of the new edit­ing is done to tight­en up the story, versus how much is done to sim­pli­fy the sci­ence and tech­no­logy in the story.

    I real­ize there might be some inter­sec­tion between the two, but I’m look­ing more to the example of an edit­or ask­ing why DNA has to be described in such a com­plic­ated way (two strands, double helix) when a sim­pler explan­a­tion (one strand, straight line) moves the story for­ward much faster.

  5. Interesting com­ment, James. I think I might do an entry on this in lieu of a reply here, if that’s ok…

  6. Sounds good to me.

    See my essay at Lablit.com: http://www.Lablit.com/article/83 and Frank Ryan’s ongo­ing blog “Meet My Dragon” at the Lablit.com homepage.

    You might also find some con­ver­sa­tions with agents to be help­ful: see http://rejecter.blogspot.com/2006_10_08_archive.html under the top­ics “In Defense of Agents” and “My anti-MFA rant”. The Q&A is inter­est­ing.

    Also see http://mariemockett.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html and (start­ing from the bot­tom) Make Me Wonder and Why Agents Must Feel The Love. Again, the Q&A is inter­est­ing (and I nev­er got an answer to Part II of my ques­tion).

    Re: A later post — my girl­friend is also very rodent-focused, by the way, although she focuses on squir­rels.

  7. Or ignore my ref­er­ences above and just focus on your own exper­i­ences. More fun for you, per­haps more enlight­en­ing for me.

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