Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My writing week.

Hi all,

Things have just gotten in the way of writing this week: the dentist, x-rays, job interviews, clothes buying (which I loath just about as much as going to the dentist).

I've been trying a new way to promote my writing on the web which has been taking up a fair bit of my time. Other people probably have tried it, but I am not aware of their attempts, so I'll try to keep it a secret for a while. The process of setting it up is helping me to get to know the characters in the current novel I am writing.

Now that I am back on critters.com, I have been doing a critique a week. I like to choose stories of around 5,000 words to critique, because I have found that if they are shorter I usually end up asking a lot of questions about the world the story is set in. I think most fantasy and science-fiction stories need to be at least 5,000 words so they have room to create their universe.

One of the stories I critiqued was a fairytale updated to a future setting. I really think that rewriting fairytales in present or future settings has been done so often that a writer has little hope of getting it published.

I took note of the time it takes to critique a story and I spend 4-6 hours on a critque.

I read that Jeffrey Archer is often handed manuscripts from writers, and he reckons just about all of them are a first draft. I was surprised to read that he redrafts his books 17 times. I haven't read any of his novels, but to go to that much effort you would want to be winning Bookers – like Peter Carey who redrafts 15 times per novel.

The above activities, combined with increasing procrastination, meant my writing output has dropped over the past couple of weeks, but I still managed to write everyday. On a superior note, I did manage to swim my fastest time for years this morning. I have adopted a new approach, swimming every fourth lap like a publisher is standing at the end of the pool dangling a contract. If only my subconscious could visualise something similar while I write.


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