As you may know, my writing is more sporadic these days.
Gone are the days when my fingers regularly tapped frantically in the hope of churning out a best seller. Now there is more time to obsess over each chapter before I return to my trusty laptop.
In the past I have lived with the characters in my head and dutifully written their story in a first draft. Then that manuscript lived in my computer, probably causing hell to all my other files because it was being ignored for at least three months before clicked on it again.
But my current Work In Progress is being ignored as it’s being written.
So, the process of re-imagining the whole story in my head, taking notes, then returning to add interest to each scene is happening chapter by chapter.
I’ve already rewritten Chapter Four, a scene where Mae visits her ex-husband’s brother, Richard, because that’s where she expects to find her ex-husband, Ken. It’s okay at the moment. Others she doesn’t expect to find are also in the scene.
And the more time I spend at work during the week, socialising and just living life, the more I reconsider this scene. Frankly, it needs to be funnier.
The elements are there.
Richard is not happy with Mae and with mutual friends, Piper and Grant, there, many underlying friendship issues should surface. Everyone except Mae is dressed like characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation because they intend to play How To Host A Mystery. But as the other players don’t arrive, they get stoned instead.
Normally I’d keep this scene as it is and continue writing the initial draft. Then, with the whole story laid out, I’d know how to reshape each scene in light of what behaviours each character displays later on.
I did the same thing with Chapter One.
It’s been rewritten twice but I know I can make it more absurd. It’s a party scene where everyone is dressed as a clown. Come to think of it, chapters two and three are also second drafts.
I guess this is a new way of working.
What I do have on my side is more time to promote, now that I have my own laptop. I’ve taken time out to revamp promotional material and discover more opportunities to talk about my writing through social media.
And while it’s taking longer to write the initial draft of this novel, the next draft will be much more advanced.