2/12/2004

If I haven't been blogging as much recently, it's due to various factors. I have to tile my bathroom, put shelves up in at least three locations, buy furniture, etc etc. Also, I still haven't sorted out where to put the computer, as a result of which the monitor is balanced on a kitchen chair while the main unit is sort of wedged between the tv unit and a couch. Not the most comfortable or best place from which to update a blog.

The current (fiifth) draft of Against Gravity is moving quickly. I have the shape of the book worked out now; now what I need to do is make sure that the explanations and clues for what is actually going on throughout various parts of the manuscript match up, since precisely why certain things were happening have changed, at least in terms of intent and purpose. Also, I've found since I started writing books that sometimes characters who seemed central have a habit of getting lost towards the end - primarily because their usefulness to the plot has ceased. It's a learning thing. This is why you get to kill characters off. Someone sort of hanging around, hoping for an invite to the slambang finale? Bang! And they're dead. Problem sorted.

Well, okay, maybe that is a slightly frivolous way of putting it. I swear I have a much more considered and careful approach to plot and character.

Other authors, of course, will know which is the true answer.

I'm starting to think about Eastercon. Should I stay, or should I go? It's in Blackpool, which I've never been to, which would give me something to explore during those parts of conventions which primarily consist of sitting around in a sterile hotel wondering where everyone you know has gone to. I should go, since I gather quite a few other Tor writers are going to be there whom I haven't met. I believe one or two are flying over from the States, including Jeff Vandermeer, who seems to be making something of a name for himself right now.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent Against Gravity off to my agent to see what she thought of it. The response I got back was good - better than I hoped. Not to say it's perfect; the points she picked on were ones I simply hadn't addressed yet. For instance, part of it's set in Edinburgh, a hundred years from now. I haven't particularly 'futurised' it, mainly because I've been more concerned with getting the story down, and I'm not always comfortable with the idea of just slinging in 'futuristic' furniture for the sake of fitting in with the genre. I know a lot has changed since a hundred years before now, but a lot hasn't.. A lot of us live in the same houses as the Victorians. The building I live in was built at the end of the 19th Century, and there's a very good chance indeed people in Edinburgh will still be living in some very old houses. I don't want to slap up gleaming skyscrapers and hovercars, because that would be bullshit.

However, social and environmental change are another matter. It's very likely I'm going to freeze the UK, by using the theory that changes in global temperatures could cause the Gulf Stream to switch off, dropping this country into an Arctic climate. That I find interesting, but that's for the sixth (and hopefully last) draft. Once the tree's up, then I can put on the decorations.

In the meantime, my editor at Tor UK is reading through the (rough) draft of Against Gravity. I'm hoping (naturally) that his feelings about the book will be as positive as my agent's. I should know by the next time I update this blog.
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