New work, old work

The last months of 2008 passed by in a blur. My second novel, None Of The Other Flies Follow My Crooked Lines, was selected for an intensive editing and workshop programme: a process that cast new light on a story I was starting to consider a little silly. Turns out it wasn't so bad after all and I ploughed through the manuscript with a scalpel, judiciously adding and subtracting text to tighten the formula and sharpen the piece ready for submission to the relevant authorities. As of tonight, I think it's there. Oh, it's not perfect, but it is pretty clean. And I doubt another read through at this stage will be particularly enlightening. It's the kind of thing that tends to happen when you read the same 60,000 words twice over in two weeks.

I will say this for the editing process: when you're transcribing your marked up manuscript back into the word processor, you love to see single word changes or punctuation marks. The ones that make your heart sink: the entire paragraphs scrawled in the margin or, even worse, the notes that simply say 'reword this' or 'this stinks'.

The dust is settling and attention is returning to my third novel—the one that exists primarily in my head at the moment. I've made a conscious decision to not blog the new work, primarily to reduce distraction. I was never that vigilant a blogger anyway.

So, the next phase of Crooked Lines commences. We've done the awards, now we're onto the business end: the publishers.

I will update the site with news of what's happening, and, since I am nothing if not  a paragon of discretion, I will avoid names and other identifying features.

However, this is a slow process, likely to be filled with long stretches of seemingly nothing happening. The reason? For publishers to consider a novel, they have to read and these people to a person have a shitload of reading to do and little time to do it in. If someone reads your manuscript and likes it, they have to convince others within the company to read it too, other people who also have a shitload of reading to do and little time to do it in. If I were to consider (and I wouldn't for a second) becoming a publisher, I would have to improve my ridiculously languid reading speed tenfold.

No one likes having to wait for a response, but that's the business. And that's what subsequent novels are for. You have to do something while you're waiting.