Well November is over and so is my book – hurrah!
Actually it’s not. I did what I set out to do and wrote 50,000 words. Well actually I didn’t, I wrote 65,000 but a few vital scenes are missing so my book isn’t technically finished. Although I have written the ending already I’m holding off writing ‘The End’ until all the bits in the middle are done as I hear those are the most satisfying words.
It’s been an amazing month. I’ve managed to write almost every day and my life is still pretty much as I left it. The house is a bit of a mess and my husband may be a little ratty but to the discerning eye I don’t think there is that much of a visible difference.
Sadly I feel this may just have been the easy bit. Although I’ve produced 65,000 words I would say that at least 30,000 are incorrectly spelled. Sometimes it was just too exciting and I couldn’t stop to spellcheck. Grammatical errors abound and I tend to become obsessed with one adjective and use it four times in a pragraph – most irritating. So now I need to edit. Sadly there isn’t a month dedicated to editing with a counter marking off how many spelling errors one has corrected. However I have found something to motivate me. There’s a writing competition I really want to enter which closes at the end of February. Therin lies the problem. Apparently it should take at least a couple of years to write a novel (try telling that to Alexander McCall Smith!) and I’m aiming to have done it in four months. I’m not sure I’ve got the guts to do what I have to do. I love the male lead so much that he kept sneaking back in even though this wasn’t supposed to be a romantic novel so unless I want to market it as a gory Mills and Boon I suspect rather a lot of lingering looks and sardonic smiles are going to end up on the metaphorical cutting room floor. Perhaps I should just cut my losses and walk away so I can talk whimsically about the wonderful book I wrote once but ‘didn’t try to get published as the world just wasn’t ready’.
Anyway I’ve always wanted to write a book and now I have. The satisfyingly large pile of pages taking up space on our worktop attests to that fact. Now I’ve done it once I know I can do it again so if this one is no good – and everybody says first novels are crap, I know I can try again.
Meanwhile the world has continued turning without me. One of my friends has had a new baby and despite her obligingly being eleven days late my knitted gift is not yet complete. The ducklings are no longer ducklings and I’m beginning to feel less cool about the two named Christmas and Dinner. Sally lamb is hanging out with the tups and is probably pregnant although she still left her buddies on Tuesday to follow us all down to the beach. Fat Tracey has taken to guerrilla egg laying. First I found a cache of 3o eggs in the bracken outside the garden then this morning we found ten in the garden, I feel so betrayed.
Maybe my next novel will have to be an expose of cruel battery hen farming methods – Fat Tracey take note!
Here’s a brief excerpt from the great work:
“The body laid out before us is that of a 65 year old man. He has long skinny arms and legs and a large paunch. His chest is partly covered by a long, unkempt beard and a tattoo of a large breasted woman who is giving us a lascivious wink. His fingernails are also long and stained with tobacco, his toenails curl over at the ends. His abdomen is tinged with green, the skin stretched tight. The skin of his feet and hands is wrinkled, thickened and white. The soles of his feet have peeled away and lie next to him on the gurney like a pair of discarded flip flops.”