Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Getting back into it

The kids went back to school today, which means I was able to pick up the pieces on my wip. I'm about 30,000 words into it but I had the feeling over the summer that it was falling apart in my hands. Not that I was working on it, just fretting over it.

I now realise that I need to re-order some of the early scenes and that that will call for revision to the rest of what I've written so far. I'm one of those who edits as I go, so I can't progress in the story till I have fixed what I think needs fixing.

Thing is I am resisting the temptation to read through what I've written. This feeling that the scenes need reordering is just that - a feeling. If anything, it's based on the fact that I had reached a wall. I was finding it very difficult to get past a point in the narrative, which made me think that something had to be wrong with what I'd written already.

I have an instinct that the story will be more dynamic and interesting if I move a chapter that was coming later to an earlier point in the story. However, this will also call for a major shift in my timeline. This is not a problem as one of the things that was worrying me was that the timeline wasn't quite right.

This is going to be the autumn book of my proposed 'four seasons' quartet (though I am writing them out of seasonal sequence and they take place in different years). I had had it starting in early September, 1870. I wanted lots of swirling mist and fog, but I was unhappy because September, from what I can gather, is not a particularly misty month in St Petersburg. (Any St Petersburgers reading this, feel free to correct me!) The fog doesn't get hold until October, when the weather starts to get more wintry in general. I really wanted to shift things later, and now I can.

I didn't manage to get much written today, but I think the work I have done, which included buying Jonathan Dimbleby's Russia - the book of the series - will help me get down to it tomorrow. There is always tomorrow.

5 comments:

disgruntled said...

Oh well, if we're going to start counting buying vaguely relevant books as 'working' I never stop...

If you want it foggy, make it foggy. Only you and the copyeditor will notice it's foggy in the wrong month. Or have someone say 'Brr, it's cold for September. Normally the fogs don't roll in like this until October'. Or blame it on the Gregorian calendar or something...

Dr Ian Hocking said...

Hi Roger - I managed to complete the first draft of my St Petersburg novel last night. Still lots to do, including the weather. I'm just hoping that nobody will notice :-)

I'm sure you're much more expert on St P than me (I still haven't managed to take a first-hand look at it yet) but if you're stuck on anything research-related, let me know. I've amassed a fair amount.

Best of luck!

Roger Morris said...

Hi Sally, you're very harsh... Of course buying books is work. This one has pictures in it. Looking at the pictures is work too. Mind you, actually reading it is a bit OTT. I'm sure you're right about the fog thing. The problem is all inside my head, as Paul Simon very nearly said.

Well done, Ian. That's fantastic. I didn't realise you were so far on. Or maybe you're just more focused and driven than me, which would not be hard at the moment!

Vanda Symon said...

My focus drifted off in a fog...

Roger Morris said...

That happens to me a lot, Vand....