Thursday, May 28, 2009

Home Again

Hmmm, haven't posted for a while ... I think other than stuff I've read, the last post was half way through "Rain". And I appear not to have read anything since last August. Well, here's an update.

My writing partner and I finished "Rain". It's a story about two people in a phone box waiting for the rain to stop. And ... that's it. It's not perfect, but there's stuff in it that I really like. I guess the point is, it was a pretty extreme thing to attempt (the whole thing takes place in the phone box) but I think it kind of works. Following on from that, we challenged each other to write a story that's mentioned briefly in Rain. That was fun - I think we gave each other a week to write it, and mine ended up a fairly long 20,000 words.

Then in November I did NaNo again. Yes, wrote another novel. Put like that it sounds so simple! It was called Teacher, it wasn't as good as Home, but I did try some different things in it. For some reason I decided not to do ScriptFrenzy again this year though. I guess I was busy with other things somehow.

And on the reading front, I haven't actually read another novel since last August ... at least, not until this week ... but that's another post.

What I have worked on quite a bit since this time last year is Home. I mentioned that I'd actually read it, and then I'd given it to other people to read. One of them was my dad. To put this in context, my dad is actually a real writer, so showing it to him felt like quite a step.

And the amazing thing was, he actually quite liked it. In fact, he liked it so much that he's been helping me work on it since then. I've added a few bits, taken out a lot of bits. That 63,000 words? A long-distant memory, and now I'm worried it's not going to end up novel length at all. And it's hard work, re-writing, cutting, getting it right. It hurts too - cutting stuff I really like. Until I read the old version and the new side-by-side, and realized he was absolutely right. That's what you get for working with a professional!

We spent 3 days together in February and after a lot of effort, came up with a revised version of the first six chapters. To my amazement, dad has posted these on his website. I'm particularly chuffed by what he wrote about it - the comment about the characters means a lot to me, because what he describes is quite deliberate and is one of the main (conscious) ways in which my Christian faith affects what I've written. Feel encouraged to read it here and let me know what you think.

Since then we've worked via the internet and phone (technology is wonderful!) and finished two more chapters; chapter 9 is nearly there, and I'm working on 10 and following. Very exciting! And very hard work. But oh so worth it. Much harder than writing it in the first place. But the end product is much better too. Coming soon to a bookshop near you? I highly doubt it, but you never know ...

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