Sunday, November 11, 2012

Writing Update


I’ve just passed the 130,000 word mark on Penny Royal II but this last week I haven’t been hitting my target of 2,000 words a day. Generally it’s been at about 1500 a day, but in total. I’ve probably been writing more than 2,000 but deleting plenty too. About 1,000 words disappeared into my BitsSF file at the start of the week. While going through the text altering certain plot points I’ve been coming across bits that just do not need to be so complicated and hacking them down or deleting them. A new character put in an appearance then was quickly disappeared. And then there are those bits of text where the motor has been idling while a clear the ice off the windscreen – often rambling and sometimes repetitive – and they have to go too.

This slowing down process always happens with me at the end of a book. It’s the start of moving into the editorial phase. It’s also even more involved this time because I’m not only altering and deleting stuff in Penny Royal II but in Penny Royal I as well. It’s all very necessary because, near the end, I don’t want you skipping stuff because you’re thinking, ‘What the hell happened then?’ or the even worse, ‘Oh get on with it will you!’

4 comments:

Jezcentral said...

Do you think going back to Penny Royal 1 is a benefit, or do you half-wish it was published (and therefore inviolate) and curse your perfectionism? :)

Neal Asher said...

No, I like going back to it, Jez. I can tighten things up, have better continuity, and have no need to shoehorn in some overly complicated explanations as I grope for endings.

Graeme Finch said...

I did 4800 word since the 9/11/012. Which given my recent 4am starts, working every weekend in November ... and all the time I spend making fatuous comments on Facebook is pretty good.

It’s hard work this book writing stuff. I never knew until I started it a year ago, how hard it was taking the seemingly clear pictures in your head and putting them on paper.

PS: continuity. At some point I'm going to have to print it off, read it with a highlighter pen at hand, and make notes to self to rip and replace where necessary.

PPS: I'm going to have to go through it and pull the repetion where I have the same idea twice, and re-write myself.

Neal Asher said...

Graeme, it slowly gets easier. Don't berate yourself for writing on Facebook or elsewhere - the more you write the easier it becomes to write. Besides my fiction I write on Facebook, twitter, on message boards, here and in a journal.

Starting out writing my problem was building up the word count and a reluctance to delete. Now I don't have so much of a problem with the former, but that reluctance is still there. Hence that BitsSF file I mentioned.