Sunday, June 10, 2007

81,448 Words

So close. So close now and I'm dying to print it all out again so that I can just hold it in my hands - the whole thing, and feel the completeness of it. I know it'd be a waste of paper. I still have six or seven pages to go and then of course there will come another monster re-write, because I have dashed off these last twenty thousand words so quickly, there will be inconsistencies and spelling errors galore. Still, it felt really great to pass the 80K mark. It felt like I could actually start thinking of myself as 'a writer', rather than just a tryer. The 2nd biggest challenge is yet to come (the first being writing the damned thing) so I still I can't say it out loud until someone agrees to publish the book. Until that moment I will continue to answer the perennial question "So, when are you thinking about going back to work?" with my usual, noncommital "Oh I don't know. Not just yet. I think maybe I want to do something completely different."

I've been giving a lot of thought to the first page and the last page - surely the most important pages of any book. The first page (apart from the jacket and blurb, which are likely to be outside my control) is my one shot at getting the potential reader to take it to the till, and the last page is what will determine their lasting impression of the book if they finish it - will they feel their time has been well-spent? Will they recommend it to a friend? Will they even remember what happened in a fortnight's time? Instead of endlessly tinkering with my first page I decided to write a whole new one (I'll put in on the website later today) and I'm much happier with it now. The last page hasn't been written yet but I have some ideas. Better get on with it I suppose...
Love A

P.S. On the subject of book jackets, I really fancy white, snow-covered ground with the slightly fuzzy shape of a scarlet coat lying there, abandoned. I've read many times that 'white covers don't sell' but I have several books with white or mostly white covers, and it's never been a factor in my choosing or not choosing to pick up a book. My favourite book covers though are the deep turquoise covers of Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Jean-Dominique Bauby's The Diving Bell & The Butterfly. Now both those covers did influence me to pick up those books, and still they glint invitingly on my bookshelves, calling me to re-read each more than once. Blue wouldn't have any relevance to my story though. A shame really. Perhaps I could have just a close-up of Amelia's red coat - so close that you could see the weave of the woollen fabric - that would be nice. Red is my favourite colour.

P.P.S. I can see that all this daydreaming about 'what I'll do when I'm published' might seem annoyingly presumptuous to some readers, but really, what's the point in all this effort unless you believe in yourself? in the strength of your will to succeed? I read that Marina Lewyncka gave up trying to get her 1st manuscript published after 40 rejections. Forty? I'm expecting that many in the first wave alone.


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