Thursday, 25 March 2010

Maudites Pacing

overcast, cool, temps plus 2

Difficult day writing....which is odd since it was a blissfully quiet day. Not appointments, not interruptions. But it occured to me last night, thinking about the structure and pace of the book, and where I am - that there was a problem. One important reference, and character, hadn't appeared yet. And I'm about a third, almost halfway through. This element could, I guessed, come in later, but it was probably better if it appeared earlier.

So I thought, and considered - not particularly worried since I knew something would occur to me. And it did. I realized there was a spot early on when I could slip in a paragraph or two. That's all it needs.

But this morning I needed to find that spot, and couldn't remember which chapter. Once I put it in, I realized a few others might naturally comment on this element a chapter or so later. So I had to hunt for that.

Once found, and inserted, I went to the new writing. Fortunately I enjoyed reading yesterday's pages - with some shaping - but as I wrote more I began to worry more. About pacing mostly. And whether the story is moving along as it should. My books, as you know, will never be thrillers. They have, intentionally, a more thoughtful pace...but they also speed up - then become more relaxed. Not sure if I'm describing this right. I never think of my books as slow moving...but there are different layers...and sometimes it zips along, a page turner. Other times are meant to be quieter, more thoughtful.

And clues need to be scattered in the right places at the right time so that they're natural, and almost inivisible.

Thank God for editing!

I feel a lot better about putting the stuff in that I did today - that was right. But there are just so many issues and elements and details at this stage in the book that it feels like tip toeing through a flower bed planted thick and budding. Don't want to squish anything by mistake.

It think it's just a particularly stressful part of the book...the middle third often is. It also feels like moving through fog. I think the point is to just keep going and hope it's forward.

But wrote 2,000 words then Michael and I went into Sutton to do some mailing, buy some drinking glasses for the city apartment and had a terrific late lunch. Then home.

Minotaur is mailing me the final page proofs for Bury Your Dead. Will need to read and see how the edits are. As well, my friend peter Black, of CBC in Quebec City was SO kind to read the manuscript to let me know if I went wrong with anything in the city. I did. Small things, thank God. Got the name of a micro-brewery beer wrong...Maudites Biere. And a few other things of that level - which is actually very important. And because he's a producer he also has an eye for he caught a few of those.

As well - my friend Lili sent back her copy of the manuscript for Bury Your DEad. her job was to read for French mistakes...of which there were a few, but those are being fixed.

It always amazes me the details involved in publishing a book. The huge amount of work people put in. And how much depends on the professionals, but also on friends.

Doing the book club tonight...writing tomorrow morning...then off to Montreal tomorrow around noon. This too is part of our desire to have more fun. We adore the Montreal apartment...and the city! So we pack up the laptops and head in. work in the morning and play in the afternoon.


whalewatcher said...

Re: yesterday.....Yes Louise, it could spray in the cage and sorry I didn't think about taking it in the car to release. We just always put the cage in the back of the pickup truck so if it did make a mess it was still outside and the smell didn't stay w/the vehicle. My advice isn't very helpful if it isn't useful to you, sorry.
Have fun in Montreal .....

Melody said...

Hi Louise. I read your blog and enjoy it. It is interesting to read how your new book is progressing! I always wished I could be a writer, instead I am a Librarian. At least I am near books! :)

I can't wait for your next book to arrive! They are among my favorite reads!


Diane said...

It's snowing steadily here today and in Nova Scotia at this time of year we call it poor farmer's fertilizer, when it happens in may, we call it by the shortened version of fertilizer. Life nature show going on in the field - the fox is after the pheasant.

Pheasant outfoxed the fox and busy tailed one is gone.

Have a wonderful day in Montreal.


Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Kathy,

Darn - it sounded like a great idea! Now it's all up to the moth balls - and the valiant hope our guests don't mind being skunked when they stop in the front porch. Will certainly cut down on interruptions.

Hi Melody,

I think being a librarian is heroic. Working with books and words and stories...being the custodians, speading the word...getting people excited about stretching themselves. Wow. I'm always in awe of librarians!

Hi Diane,

I know it's only natural that the fox gets the bird - but I'm always overjoyed when, for once, the bird wins! Thanks for the lovely play-by-play. And love what you call snow in May. We do too! Not such a 'distinct society' after all.