Sunday, 21 September 2008
THE WRITING PACE
I've been working on the second Jack Martin novel - Arkansas Smith and am now nearing the finish line on the first draft. It's been harder than usual this time and I put this down to the fact that I stopped working on the book for two weeks this month because I had so many other things happening around me. Larkrise to Candleford is taking up a big chunk of my time and I've been finding that the hour or so I get on the keyboard is taken up with my blogging and social networking.
The Internet is probably the most important research tool for writers but it can also be a curse. Extreme self discipline is needed if one is to avoid hours spent googling when one should be working. And don't get me started on the evils of You Tube.
Now when I did force myself back to the book I found it awkward maintaining the pace set earlier and the story escaped me - for an awful few days I feared the story had left me and that this work would have to be cast aside, treated as a miss-start, but thankfully I've picked it up again. I don't know how it is for other writers but when I'm working on something of novel length I have to work on it every day. Even if I only do a dozen words. It doesn't matter because I'm still entering the story world, the fictional landscape that must be real to the writer. When I cast it aside for days at a time and then come back to it, I don't feel a part of it and it can be torture trying to connect with the characters again. Their inner lives, once so intimate, become opaque to me and it takes the virtual scrumpling of hundreds of virtual pages before I'm back on track.
Well I'm now cutting this preamble to even more time wasted and getting back to chapter thirteen (I hate stopping on any 13,word 13, paragraph 13, page 13, chapter 13) before the muse leaves me. I've got to follow Arkansas through an Indian attack.
THE TARNISHED STAR
BY JACK MARTIN
ROBERT HALE LTD/BLACK HORSE WESTERNS
*Tentative publication date. Join the Friends of Jack Martin Facebook group for up to date information on all things Jack Martin.
Posted by Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin at 10:54