• Bittersweet

    19 July 2009
    Finished my latest edit of the fourth book of my 4 book series on Friday. There's a scene near the end that always chokes me up a bit when I come to it. I don't sit here blubbing or anything (I'm not THAT soft!!), but I do get a little lump in my throat, even at this, the fifth time round. It's one of the saddest things I think I've written, a truly tragic, heartbreaking moment. I won't say any more about it (don't want to spoil the surprise), except to say to keep a handkerchief at the ready when you come to read this in May 2012 (which is when the fourth book should be going on sale in the UK, if we stick to our current schedule).

    Went out with my friend Kenny on Friday night. Had a few drinks, chatted about movies and football and music, the same old things we've been chatting about for more than 20 years now -- the mark of a true friendship is the limitless number of times you can share the same sort of conversation!!! I rounded off the night with a doner kebab and taco fries from Abrakebabra (the best name for a fast food restaurant EVER!!!). They always taste so sweet slipping down, yet so vile when I wake up the next morning with the taste still thick in my throat!!!!!

    Took it easy on Saturday, just sat around, read a bit, watched a couple of films, surfed the web a while. I'm reading Furnace: Lockdown at the moment, by Alexander Gordon Smith. I'm enjoying it so far, which I'm pleased about, because Alex is a Shanster of many years standing!!! Assuming I like the second half as much as the first, I plan to give him a quote for the book, to hopefully be used in the American edition when it comes out. The book is already on sale in the UK, so check it out if you haven't already!!

    Today I returned to editing duties on my one-off fantasy book, which comes out in the UK in May 2010. My editor has given me her general notes, so I'm going through with those in mind. As I'm sure I've said on here before, the first draft of this book was MUCH longer than it is now. I included all sorts of details about the world which I had created for the story. In subsequent edits I trimmed back and cut out most of what I'd written, as it wasn't necessary for the main story. But it seems I excised a little bit more than I should have a in a few places, so part of what I'm doing this time round is filling in a few of the blanks. That's the good thing about writing more than you need in the beginning -- if it turns out you need to add a bit more later, you've already done most of the hard work, so it's simply a case of carefully restoring slivers of what you took out, which is much easier than having ot come up with entirely new material!!! I've said it often on this blog, but I'll say it again -- never worry about including more than you need when you're writing the first draft of a story or novel. Even if you know you're probably not going to use something, if it feels like you should put it in, then go with your instincts. You might thank yourself later for taking the time and trouble -- in my experience, it's always easier to write a lot of new material in a first draft than it is in a later edit. First time round, you're resigned to having to come up with new material every day, so you're in a very creative mindset. Further down the line, you just want to tighten up and fine-tune, and it can be a right royal pain if you have to slip out of that mindset and back into the creative zone!!!!!

    Just say the version of Journey to the Center of the Earth which came out last year and which co-starred Josh Hutcherson. It was an OK movie, easy-going family fun but a bit too far-fetched for my liking. Far more interesting, however, was Hutcherson, who proves again that he's one of the strongest teen actors around at the moment. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does with the role of Steve in the upcoming The Vampire's Assistant movie...
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