Monday, April 23

Red hand mark on my buttocks

Well it's been a while since I decided, dreamily, to "become a writer." Ha ha, how whimsical it all sounds.

But here I am - not even a year later - with only one page left of the second edit to go through with my editor before I will have finished my first novel.

So it's kind of cool to reflect on the process ... for me.

I've done a lot of creative writing in my time, but it wasn't until I came to Japan and gave my mind the room to breathe that I decided to "become a writer."
If you flick through the blog you will see loads of different articles, but it wasn't until I wrote a poem about a young man called Maketu that I really felt the spark, or even acknowledged the actual capacity within me to write something major.
Poetically, I have done bugger all writing outside of the novel since I did decide to "become a writer." I think mainly because I am quite a single-minded kind of guy. I went at writing the novel like a bat out of hell, I really did. I leapt into long long nights of researching and then carved my way into crafting a tale and within the four months I had it written. That initial word count was 45,000ish, which is just about the bare minimum for a novel. But don't chuckle with disdain yet, as after my first edit I had added an extra 15,000 words which levelled it off at 60,000 words which is, some say*, the perfect word limit. So that is cool because from what I read most writers have the opposite problem and usually lose that much after the first cull/edit.

It's daunting though because you also find yourself face-to-face with your deficiencies and it is a bloody awkward place to be. For example, I'll be going though page by page with my friend and editor, Phil, and notice (okay, he'll point out) loads of missing commas, word repetition and other juvenile issue and wonder, how can I have had such a deficiency for so long and not notice? I am left standing there, as a so-called "writer," naked with ellipsis', semi-colons and word choice thugs laughing at the red hand mark on my bare bottom. Even just looking back on the previews of chapter one that I have put up on this blog, I can't help but cringe at the tiny errors still there and how foolish it seems to have showed something to the world before it's actually polished.

But anyway, it feels good to have pretty much finished something and now I move into even more unfamiliar territory - PUBLISHING THE BASTARD! Yaaaay!

The novel by the way is titled, Caught by the storm

* me.

No comments: