In The Plotting Shed

In The Plotting Shed
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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Peace - at least in the Plotting Shed #amwriting

Peace reigns, temporarily at least, in The Plotting Shed, as I begin the re-write of The Rose Trail, after my editor, Tomas Martin's, insightful comments on the first draft.
His energy, acute observations and pithy criticism always energise and inspire me. I've learnt to take the brutal truth on the chin, knowing it always bears luscious fruit.
Amongst these comments was one I treasure: It's the best first draft you've ever written.
As I begin weaving some threads, some depth and a few red herrings into the story, I am astonished to find the seeds have already been sown when I wrote the first draft. This happens every time and never ceases to amaze me. It's as if my subconscious knew all along where those threads and strands should be and planted their genesis within the race to the finish that getting the story down entails. You have to keep up the momentum in the first draft. Yes, there is an outline, but that doesn't allow for the characters to run away with your carefully worked out plot and embellish it. Which makes for a rollercoaster ride as you commit their actions, words and deeds onto the document.
Returning to the story the second time around, imbued with the refreshing ideas of Beta No 1 and Editor, is quite a different experience. It's more relaxed for a start; there is no rush to see if all the plot lines will work out the way you hoped they would. It is more careful, not calculated as such, but thoughtful. It is craft.
I love this stage! And especially when I find that the original script has the space and the intention ready and willing to be reworked.
As I write more books, I find I panic less. The pattern of how I put a book together seems to have evolved now. It feels more creative, less stressful, more manageable and infinitely more rewarding.
It'll be up to you readers to tell me if you feel the same.
Life is busy for me at the moment and writing time under pressure but I'm still on target to publish by the autumn.

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