Sunday, February 19, 2006

Man talking bollocks, revisited.

I haven't actually seen a copy of this week's Crouch End and Muswell Hill Times. (Or should that be, Muswell Hill and Crouch End Times?) We didn't get one delivered this week for some reason. Such is the way with free sheets. It's all down to the discretion of those people who push around shopping trolleys full of newsprint. Some they deliver. Some they chuck over a wall.

Anyhow, I knew from Peter the photographer that the interview was due to appear on Friday, so when the paper copy didn't thud onto our doormat, I checked out the online edition.

Here's what I found.

Did I really say all that stuff? Well, possibly. But I said a lot of other stuff as well that got edited out - naturally, they wouldn't just transcribe the telephone conversation, I know that! But the problem is, without the stuff that's left out, the stuff that's left in sounds a bit, I don't know, odd. Or maybe that's just me.

And I've really got to work out a plausible answer to the question, "How long did it take you to write?" For some reason, people seem obsessed by this question. I have to say, it's one I dread. You see I did write the book very quickly. I'm not sure how quickly, exactly, because I wasn't really paying attention to how long it was taking me. I just wrote the thing.

And I had been thinking about it, and working out the storyline, for a long, long time. How long? I have no idea. Years. We're talking years.

But the actual writing of the text was quick. Absurdly quick. Embarrassingly quick. The kind of quick that you wouldn't believe. It was there and I just wrote it down, like dictation.

I feel bad it was so quick. I don't even want to talk about how quick it was. I wish she hadn't asked me that. And I wish when she'd asked me I'd said something else.

Six weeks, jeez. Why'd I have to go and say six weeks?

Mind you, it seems William Faulkner claimed to have written As I Lay Dying in six weeks, though the truth may be closer to eight. That makes me feel better, somehow.

2 comments:

Tribeless said...

Nice review Roger.

How is the novel experimental?

Regards Mark Hubbard

roger said...

Thanks Mark.

Well, the style isn't very conventional. And the story is structured around a series of inanimate objects (one of which is a Sabatier knife, another of which is a teabag) which somehow provide insights to the characters. Multiple points of view. Minimal punctuation. Fragments of advertising copy. All manner of jiggery pokery which I hope doesn't get in the way. It was the only way I could see to write it.

Thanks for asking. Hope it hasn't put anyone off!

(Everything I write is an experiment, I always think.)