Manipulating the Clay

Two more chapters covered. The first couple of chapters I had prepared as part of my OU Creative Writing module, which are somewhat more polished and shinier than chapter three onward. I am now into the murky waters of chapter four. This has slowed me down a bit as I am adding more general edits for punctuation and typos.

Chapter four is a reflective part of the novel where the pace slows down. Holly is experiencing an eerie calm, which follows the disaster which has shaken her life.  I’m not a fan of dialogue-free prose and this whole chapter is written whilst she is alone. Rather than tackle it now I have made notes in my journal to deal with it on the second rewrite. I have been thinking about it though – I could add in a few flashbacks maybe, or insert a phone call? When I’m reading a novel if I find a few pages with blocks of dialogue free paragraphs I tend to skim over them. I guess I’m not every reader but I’d like to break it up here and there. It is tempting to start tampering with this now but I want to focus purely on character and the plot during this rewrite and I do tend to daydream and go off on a tangent – the job won’t get done unless I am methodical and strict with myself.

I’ve felt better about the rewriting process since reading this month’s Writer’s Forum magazine. There is a very good article called ‘Second Draft’ on page 10. It is written by Douglas McPherson Author of the book ‘Start Writing Today.’ His book looks like a good read and it is available as an ebook from Amazon – so I may well have a look at that.  He suggests that the second draft is where you really begin writing.  Having got the first draft down is a great feeling – but to me it is more like an uneven slab of clay than a rough jug…it’s going be a long time until it resembles a jug and an awfully long way to go until it is fired and shiny!  I hope one day it will hold water!

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