the state of things

 

A Slow Mince

by Douglas Lindsay - 10:55 on 01 December 2007
Have been going at a steady pace. Usually I like to leap into books and write a quarter of it in the first ten minutes, get the foundations down, so that it feels like a book as quickly as possible. It's the same principle as having mid-week games in the first week of the Premier League, so that within eight days you've had three games and you've got some sort of recognisable league table, with someone at the bottom, with their manager already on the ropes.

This time, however, I've eased my way in at a slow mince. Another difference is that I'm usually a Word Count Junky. Several times a day I check and think, right I've written 2,156 words today, that's not bad... Then I scribble some more. It's not an inspiring way to write a book, but at least I am generally prepared to rewrite all the rubbish that can transpire with this kind of approach. I prefer to get the house built, and then spend time repairing the damage caused by the initial slapdash, hurried job, rather than take my time laying the bricks.

(That's it for the building a house analogy...)

For the moment, however, the laptop is still dead and I'm writing on the textedit programme on the Mac. No word count facility, and I'm not so sad that I'm going to count or even attempt to estimate what's been done so far.

So, can't say how much I've done. A bit. Enough to consider the book started and well under way. Enough to know where it's going, and enough to be enthusiastic. At some stage, given that in publishing terms the whole thing is already short notice, I'm going to panic and suddenly announce to my family that I have to sit in a dark room with my computer for three weeks straight. But at the moment, this side of Christmas, when publication is still very much Next Year, I can afford to be relaxed about it.

Lake Weston, the lead character in Lost In Juarez, is a successful children's writer. As such I've had to come up with the series which he writes, and have decided on Fenton Bargus Takes On The World, about a seven year-old kid who has a succession of bad things happen to him. I like the idea of Fenton Bargus Takes On The World. When Lost in Juarez bombs, or maybe even if it doesn't, I might have a go at writing Fenton Bargus.

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