Writers, Stop prevaricating and Get On And Edit.
All novelists, it is a universal truth that needs acknowledging, your first draft is not good enough to publish. (pace Bungalow Lil, and Jane Austen)
I finished my second book in the series of Meltonby Mysteries about a month ago. I love my characters in this second book, a rewrite of the Abelard and Heloise story set in the Yorkshire Dales, but they are vague, in my head. They drift like life. My crime novel reads like a dream sequence rather than a structured story. Readers wont know them like I do, so I must help the readers get to know them better.
I will let you know in later blogs how I approach this tricky issue. How do I approach tighter characterisation, sharper narrative arcs and sublime synopsis.
Discipline is what all authors need at this stage. With Bungalow Lil’s 10 unpublished books sitting there, in her office, it is a lesson. Do you write to be published, or write for personal pleasure?
Bungalow Lil is a good writer, she had an agent, she is published (one book through Athena). 20 Years ago, a leading publishing house had the contracts ready for another two books. Sadly they were suddenly bought out and all contracts dropped. So that was it. And modern publishing houses want professionals, not just creative amateurs with flashes of brilliance. They no longer want to hold your hand.
Mum’s two books that were nearly published at the end of the 80’s are edited. She was hailed as the next Molly Keane, or was it Mary Wesley. They are good reads with a very authentic voice of 80’s Britain. They are coming your way soon. But…..
Scanning them from hand typed bound books into word documents has thrown up some weird and wacky spelling changes. So EDIT, EDIT, EDIT is still the message of the day. But mums books, or mine? Or should I market my new business? Or Garden? Or do my paid work? Or tidy the house? Or write my third book? Discipline, that is what Bungalow lil and I need.