5/08/2003

Not so bored. Been out. Rec.d first intimations of expected editorial notes in the form of emailed general overview of Angel Stations - what they think it needs, impressions, suggested changes and so forth. Printed it out and checked it out over my baked potato and ravioli this evening. Still no sign of the money, unfortunately, so I can only hope. With any luck I've got at least a week to finish the second draft of Against Gravity, which is about as long as I expect it to take.

And the weirdly niggling thing is ... it's coming out almost too easy. See, when I wrote my first book Touched by an Angel, it took about six months, but that included literally ripping out the first twenty thousand words and completely replacing it with a radically different beginning. With Angel Stations, I had the plot reasonably worked out for halfway through, and then a vague notion of how I thought things should go up to and including the end. At least two chapters were inserted on the second draft to boost the background of the story, and a brand new, deeply central character was introduced at the same time. This is a considerable revision.

On the other hand, with Against Gravity I spent two months working the whole thing out beforehand and then writing it. The only real element of outrageous spontaneity was creating a parallel stream of chapters describing events ten years previous to the main action, giving the background to the main story. That bit, I made up more or less as I went along. The rest, I knew what I wanted, I knew where I had to go. I'm not saying it wrote itself, but it went along a damn sight smoother than anything else I've ever written. So that four months after I started I'm almost done on the second draft of the book, which is a little over 120,000 words, and I haven't inserted any chapters, haven't completely rewritten the first twenty thousand words and thrown out the original text, and haven't spontaneously created any characters who I didn't already know about before I wrote the first sentence.

So why's it going so smoothly? My paranoia light is blinking rapidly in the back of my head. Clearly, someone - or something - is trying to lull me into a false sense of security.

On the other hand, while I was flicking through the editorial notes and getting ravioli all over them at the same time, I was checking out my print-out of Angel Stations, having very deliberately neither thought of it or glanced at it since some time last Christmas. It feels good. Sure, it needs changes, but it does feel good. High five!
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