Monday, 20 April 2015

Update - second draft

Dear all –

For a long time now, I haven’t felt any sense of urgency about updating Contact, and it’s taken me some time to work out why. When I first started, I loved it. I still do love it, so why am I not updating? I asked myself.

After some thought, I have realised the reason is, basically, that the first draft of Contact is finished. It’s done.

I don’t always know which story I want to tell when I start a story; I don’t always find out until the end. This is the end, and the story I wanted to tell is Alice and Martin’s love story. The story, which I originally thought might be a thriller or a horror, is the story of Alice learning to genuinely open up to another person, which she has now done.

So, now comes the second draft. During the second draft this story will change significantly. It always does. Now I know what the focus is, and I know what Alice’s story arc is, I have to rewrite with a view to that. I know this is the right decision because I feel excited about it and frankly I am itching to get started.

I will have to remove or tighten up some things, add others, and expand on yet more. I will have to move things around – I’m not at all pleased with the pacing (the relationships with both Derek and Chris peak too soon) and I’m leaving a lot of unanswered questions. The style is uneven and in places clunky.

However, in general, I’d have to say it is a successful first draft. Alice’s voice, the feel of the writing, the characterisation and the slightly disconnected and elliptical conversations and scenes (Alice herself is disconnected and elliptical. I wanted to reflect this in the writing) are all doing what I wanted them to do. This means I have captured the basis of the book I want to write, and now I have to do the hard bit; the detailed rewrite.

I would like to thank everyone who has read Contact, especially those of you who took the time to comment on it. I really appreciate your taking the time to let me know your thoughts. If anyone has anything they would like to say now we have reached the end, please do – any kind of criticism is welcome as long as it is constructive (eg comments like: “This scene doesn’t work because that statement is badly written and not in character for Amanda” are helpful. Statements like “This is complete shit,” are no help at all. I need specific examples of where and why it is shit, or I can’t fix it)

I will not be doing the second draft online, as a lot of what I want to do will not be entertaining or fit easily into the blog format. However, once it’s finished, I will post it for sale on Amazon Kindle alongside my first book The Jungle Inside. There will be a note on here to let you know when it’s ready, should any of you want to buy it.

Thank you