I'm posting this on behalf of Mary who has some connection problems...
Revision. Thereís no way out of it, is there? I think Iíve finished my novel or whatever and itís as good as I can make it. But, just in case, maybe Iíll have another read through. And then itís, ďHow did I miss that?í or, ĎHe just left, so how can she be talking to him?í or even, ĎDid I say my main character had blue eyes or brown? And what page was that on?í And then I come upon this sentence:Mary called as she walked to her car, still bouncing with energyÖ
My first draft is painfully slow. I cannot resist going back to see if what Iíve written makes sense, although Iím told that I should just beaver away and sort things out on the second draft. And I agonise for ages if I canít quite remember the right word, the only word, the perfect one for what I want and no other will doÖ All of which makes the first and second draft a protracted affair. Itís like making a sponge cake, isnít it? If you donít use the ingredients in the proper order itíll never rise. But then, my sponge cakes never rise either.
Somewhere about the third or fourth draft I begin to make sense. I donít really know what Iím writing about until then; what I really want to say. But then thereís the fatal flaw. The whole premise that the book is based on is impossible, like: the heroine couldnít have met the hero because he was somewhere else at the time. So itís back to the drawing board.
At least at this stage I know what I want to say. Perhaps now I can plot using graphs, bubbles, boxes or wavy lines? Iíve been advised to try all those. No way. Itís back to muddling through and another two or three drafts.
At the moment Iím revising a book that I wrote for Mills & Boon which didnít quite make it because it didnít have heart. I thought of Shylock wanting his pound of flesh at the time because Iíd given it my all; or so I thought.† Iíve used the original story as a synopsis for a main stream romantic fiction book with a bit of trouble from a ghost.†
Iíve got to Chapter Five already. My son-in-law, who was very good at picking up inconsistencies in my childrenís book, had to be coaxed into reading romantic fiction. But because the book has a bit of sex in it, heís now shouting ĎWhereís Chapter Six?í every time I see him, and heís even offered to be my agent. So I think Iíve found the answer to my problem: write the synopsis before the book. Or am I kidding myself? Should I just write more sex?