Tag Archives: edit

Waiting for submissions feedback

waitingroom

an old British Rail waiting room

Waiting. Waiting. Drumming your fingers on the desk. Making another hot drink. Not being able to settle. Can’t read. Not even a newspaper.

I hate waiting. So, I don’t. I write instead. Actually, I blog and network and do some writing. Maybe a bit of editing, too. I go outside with a coffee and do A LOT of staring into space. Walking helps with the waiting thing as well. We have plenty of places to walk – mostly through the vineyards surrounding the village. I take my camera and see what’s new for the upcoming Wednesday Vine Report. The whites have begun sprouting leaves already.

vineyards

vineyards below the village near the river

So, my time is filled productively without too much waiting. And a very strange thing happens while I’m out walking along the lanes. Ideas arrive! They pop up from behind a bush or they streak across the sky with Ryanair on its way to Beziers airport. My feet crunch through gravel and here’s a tale of lost luggage and a mix-up at the car hire desk where a kind person offers the lost luggage person a lift home. Hmmm. Romantic interlude or Samaritan from Hell? I think that’s already been done. Left, right, swishing through the grass and here comes another idea. Fast on its heels there’s an answer to that question I had about a character in a short story. I meet a couple walking their dog and now I know exactly what my elderly male character ought to wear on his head. I climb towards home. There’s a young man sitting on a bench by the side of the road. He has his mobile phone to his ear. Hang on a minute, goes the old grey matter, that there is an old folks’ bench. What is a young man like him doing sitting on an old folks’ bench using his mobile phone?

And before you know it, another short story is bubbling like Evian, featuring the very handsome young man, a distraught, wronged lover and a victorious wife biding her time for the killing. I dash indoors for my notebook. Then, I come back to my garden for some more staring into space.

DCF compatable JPEG Img

Flowers and fruit at the same time

Outside on my baby lime tree there are mature fruits and fruits barely formed and flowers waiting for the bees. A bit like my writing really.

I have three completed novels. Let me rephrase that. I have one novel under consideration at the moment and I consider that one finished after two rewrites. The other two novels need complete, hefty editing. They’re all different genres. One’s a family saga and at 140,000 words needs the heftiest axe. Another’s a psychological drama and needs a restructure. The third’s a book club read and at 86,000 words is close to optimum. I think. I’m waiting to find out. I’m also waiting for feedback on two short stories submitted to Woman’s Weekly. And the serial. So, that’s four pieces of work I’m waiting to hear about.

Then there are the flowers waiting for the bees. Two half-written novels, umpteen short stories and a file called Ideas which keeps growing longer every time I go out for a walk and see handsome young men on their mobiles in the wrong place.

By the time my limes fizz at the top of a clinky drink of Gin and Tonic, I’m really going to need it. Make it a big one. Easy on the tonic!

Killing my babies

It has to be done. The thing’s too long. I have to bring out the edit knife and chop.

My serial is set in the French village of Bugarach. On the night of twenty-first December 2012, Bugarach was at the centre of international media interest over the coming end of the world. This remote village in Languedoc is the location of the magic mountain. Its rock formations are upside down; the oldest rocks are at the peak rather than at the base. Legend has it that one day the rocks will part and aliens will arrive to save believers.

Where better to hold an end of the world party? Where better to set a story about struggling relationships and people who want to make changes in their lives?

Bugaracg2

The Magic Mountain of Bugarach

But it’s too long. Pass me the light sabre.