Thursday, 6 March 2008

May I be honest with you? Oh oh.

sunny, beautiful day, highs minus 5

'Honesty' without compassion and understanding is
not honest, but subtle hostility.
Rose N. Franzlau

Love that quote.

It's a gorgeous day. Have abandonned the quota system of writing - I was aiming at minimum 1,000 words a day - in favour of an overall goal. There's a pivotal scene in the book that I'd love to reach before heading out on tour. Sadly it seems the more I write the further away it gets! I keep thinking surely Gamache will make that discovery - but no, other scenes become necessary. But it's fun because the pace picks up as the characters race toward this event - unknowingly. Still, I don't seem to be 'racing'. I need to be less concerned about the length of the overall novel and the structure just think about getting the story down.

All my first drafts are terribly long. About 25 percent too long. happily, I love to edit, and that's where the shape comes out - the structure. I take out here, add there. Characters disappear, or appear. Names get changed. But I have to have something to work with. I consider the first draft my raw material. Why I think I'll get it right on the first draft is nuts. Never have, never will. Though, to be fair, the books need a lot less editing as I go along and gain confidence, and just get better with practice. But still - editing is my friend.

Had more wonderful news yesterday from Hope Dellon, my editor at St Martin's Minotaur...PEOPLE magazine is doing a review of The Cruelest Month! It's to hit newsstands a week from today.

That's a great email to receive. I read People Magazine. In the bath. Divine.

Another piece of news is that a great friend and wonderful crime writer will be in Montreal on March 12th, doing a signing. He's Rich Blechta, and his latest novel is called A Case of You. He's signing in the Schulich School of Music lobby at McGill University, which is a brilliant idea. He's a grad from the school of music of McGill, and his books are wonderful melding of murder and music. He really is well worth a read - and if you can get to McGill for the signing you're in for a treat. I'd be there too lining up if I wasn't going to be on my own tour.

Thanks for reading - I'll speak to you tomorrow. Be well.


Elizabeth said...

Thanks for letting me know about Rich Blechta. I will have to try one of his books since I have a M.Mus. and a law degree--it's not often that you find music and law coming together in a book. Also,I always love to hear what my favourite authors like to read and who they recommend.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Elizabeth,

You won't regret it. He's won all sorts of awards and was shortlisted for the Best Novel for the Arthur Ellis a couple of years ago.

But now I'm becoming more and more fscinated with you! Both music and law?