Split personality or ‘in the zone’?
It’s been a frantically busy week and several thousand words have been committed to paper – or should that be the screen these days? Unfortunately, I suspect I have probably deleted nearly as many. I’ve edited, rewritten, added, subtracted and changed great chunks of chapters that suddenly had become too long, too complex and just didn’t feel ‘right’. Do you want to know what happens when I do this type of editing? I end up with a whole bunch of different characters babbling away in my ear.
First there is always Miss Doubter. She sits looking over my shoulder asking the inevitable question – ‘so, have you got it right this time? Are you sure?’ Once I’ve answered her to the best of my ability, along comes Miss Ridiculer. Now she is a little harder to deal with. She is the one who just laughs, spluttering into her hand as she points to the screen and says ‘Really? You can’t expect anyone to believe that!’ So hours later, after you’ve searched the internet, confirmed your facts and rewritten and amended some more words, she can also be dismissed.
A few paragraphs or pages later along comes Master Negative. Now he is a real pain in the neck because there is no answering him. All he says is ‘Nah. Don’t like it.’ What do you do with someone who doesn’t say why they don’t like something or make a suggestion or say what they would like? No. Nothing helpful at all. Just ‘Nah.’ I tell you, its enough to put you off your stroke completely. Or maybe give you one. Hadn’t thought about that possibility until now.
I wouldn’t mind so much if the real characters – the ones in the book that is – would jump out and overrule these three annoying little bodies, but no, they just sit there patiently and quietly waiting their turn. They wait on the new page, the one without any words to change, to make their presence felt. I much prefer them. They are so much nicer to talk to. So maybe that’s the secret!! Maybe I’ve just discovered the best kept secret in the whole world. Always start on a new page!
I’d better go and give it go and see what happens next.
BTW answers to last week’s quiz:
March is book month
NZ Native Trees was the supreme winner
Rangitira was the Fiction winner
No, I haven’t read From Under the Overcoat.