Sunday, December 15, 2002

I’ve been reading, naturally, although I am sticking to my resolution not to buy any more books until the New Year (the new Stephanie Plum Christmas novella is sorely tempting me). The State Library has done well by me, though. I’ve been working through Christmas Forever, a great anthology of festive SF, and I finally managed to track down the third book in Richard Harland’s Eddon and Vail series, Hidden From View. I missed out on buying it because it came out in giant paperback at a time when I was violently opposed to such things and clever me, I thought I’d wait for the small paperback. It never arrived! Turns out that everybody decided to wait for the small paperback so the sales were low and they never bothered printing one! I feel quite guilty about that, but was duly punished by not being able to find a copy of Hidden from View anywhere -- it’s finally in the State Library though, so I read it through in a single day and loved it. I liked the first two but this one is much better, a smoother read and the lead characters are (for once) surrounded by likeable characters, which is more fun than unlikeable ones. The community in which the mystery is set is a great, inventive and very vivid one, which draws you into the story, and the thriller aspect itself is good and pacy. Highly recommended!

Haven’t been keeping up with this much lately, mainly because I’ve been writing so much! 20,000 in the last two weeks, possibly the best I’ve ever done. The new book is long enough to be a book (actually, it’s longer than Liquid Gold already) but the story isn’t finished yet. Not sure how long it’s going to end up! I still want the base manuscript done by Christmas though, so I can have a nice break until the new year and then get up to my elbows in the editing for 4-6 weeks.

Of course having got to this stage by following a carefully planned plot treatment, I’ve started completely changing the storyline, adding several wicked twists. The end result is I don’t know how it’s going to end! A month ago I could have told you who was going to die & who were going to end up together and what was going to happen to the villains, not to mention told you who the villains were (if I was the sort of person who gave out spoilers instead of insisting you read the book, which I’m not). Now I just don’t know!

Still, the best way to finish writing a book is to really want to know how it ends. I really want to know!

My habit at the moment is writing 1000 words a day, first thing in the morning (well, after I’ve staggered out of bed and watched half an hour of Real Rooms to wake myself up, but before breakfast). Then I get on with my day, happy that I’ve done my quota. For the last two weeks this has worked perfectly, the 1000 overspilling at times so I manage 10,000 a week. I’ve also managed to get my Christmas shopping done, organise various other things and bake gingerbread (good), shortbread (bad) and tropical fruit cookies (jury still out).

Of course my thesis is currently being woefully neglected, but that’s what January’s for!