Back in the saddle

For those people that know me well, the title of this blog will be very funny, but I mean it in the metaphorical sense. I need to start with a few apologies. To those of you that kindly agreed to follow this blog, with the expectation of receiving regular progress updates, I’m sorry. Many apologies too for those that have left comments since mid December. My performance has been a little lax, to say the least, but I believe I’m up to date. I do, however, have an excuse. I have been following the advice of Stephen King and letting my first draft rest, a period that happily coincide with the Christmas and New Year festivities and less happily with a bout of the lurgy which swept through the family. So I haven’t had much to report up until now, and as this blog is all about my journey, let’s just call this a planned detour.

That’s not to say I’ve not been doing anything. I’ve been doing further research on genetics (thanks Daneel), making notes on my second book, and reading, reading and more reading. As the title says, though, I’m back writing again, having started the first part of the editing process. For those who aren’t au fait with this stage of the writing process, what is meant to happen is that I read through my manuscript, taking out all the unnecessary text, tightening up the story, tailoring the pacing and fine tuning the wordsmithery, along with correcting the many grammatical and spelling mistakes. As it happens, I’m doing none of the above. Yet. At the moment I’m correcting the first half of the manuscript so that it matches where I got to in the second half, following all the ideas and changes that came to me whilst writing the first draft.

Last week I started to write out a character that appeared in the first few chapters of the book, his activity being added to another character, hopefully giving them more depth. This is not as straight forward as it sounds. I’m not able to simply change the dialogue and actions from “Jim says” to “Bob says,” as the character from whose viewpoint I’m writing liked the first character but dislikes the second. This has led me to rewrite some passages, take out others and most interestingly inverting some dialogue which works much better than the passage as it was originally written.
I’m also planting seeds of social unrest that come to the fore in the final third. This is a lot of fun, because it allows you to write about seemingly innocent activity which will have enormous consequences later on. It’s made me wonder weather I should write my next book starting at the end and working backwards!

I hope everybody who reads this had a wonderful Christmas and New Year period and I look forward to catching up with you all soon.

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2 thoughts on “Back in the saddle

  1. welshstream

    Good to see you back in harness. Yup tackling the first draft is all about straightening out the plot(s). Like introducing a major issue in the first part, planning to come back to it later and then finding not only had it become superflous but created more problems trying to sort it out when deleting it is much easier (though creatively painful) .. I know, am there at the moment 😉

    Reply
    1. dylanhearn Post author

      I’m still adding at the moment. I started the first draft with a less is more attitude but by the second half if the draft I knew it needed more variety. After this though, it will be time to trim the dead wood, and if the first few chapters are anything to go by, I’ll need to sharpen my axe!

      Reply

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