It’s not all whisky and video games down my way, you know. I mean, mostly, of course, but not ALL. Work continues, and I finally have a second draft of Red Country. A coherent, cohesive draft with all the characters in their proper place and the right events happening at the right time and the right people thinking, saying and doing roughly the right things. A draft I could present to someone to read without saying, ‘ignore this, and oh, this doesn’t work, and oh, I’m not sure about that, and assume this section will be a lot less, you know, shit.’ A book, you might even say. It felt like this moment would never come at one time, so it’s good to see it all dropping into place. Still plenty to do, though. This week I’m taking a look through the chapters of one of the two central characters, who’s seen a lot of changes during the writing process, and whose chapters have been heavily, if not totally, rewritten at the front, to try and ensure some consistency, that key events of the past are mentioned enough but not too much, that there’s a good shape to his development and the way he thinks about things, that concerns established for him at the start pay off later. Having stripped everything down, possibly adding a little background, texture, and personality back in where appropriate to get this character working as well as possible.
At the same time, horror of horrors, I’m reading the First Law again, probably for the first time in quite a while. The main purpose is to familiarise myself with how returning characters came across, make sure they feel consistent in this book with what’s come before, check if there are any recurring bits of speech or thought I should be echoing here, any key events of the past that might be significant. Strange thing, re-reading old work. I’ll probably post some feelings when I’m done.
On Friday I’ve got a meeting with my editor when she’s going to bring me a marked-up manuscript, and the nitty-gritty changes will get underway. Aaargh, feel the burn!