Sunday, 29 May 2011


clearing skies, temps 20

Getting warmer - poured with rain briefly today - and now looking better.

Am in Montreal to get some quiet time to write. And need to do the newsletter too. Writing going well, I think. At that stage where things start to be revealed, and that's always thorny. When to expose things, in what order. How.

not totally sure I'm doing it right, but the best way to know is to keep writing and see if I get into trouble later. We'll see.

Not much to report. That's the purpose of coming into our small apartment. so that nothing else happens. No phones ring. No lunches or dinner with kind people. No conversations.

Just my own schedule. I eat when I want. Sleep when I want. Write almost all the time - but it somehow feels less stressful. I guess I'm not always worried about being interrupted. or have something else to do in the afternoon.

I feel the hot breath of time on my neck. As I mentioned, I need this book written before I leave on tour with A TRICK OF THE LIGHT. And I know I'll need at least three drafts. The first is the longest...the second can be difficult - often a lot of re-writing as I struggle to get the structure right. Then with the third I begin to work on the details, the fine points that are so fun. Ideally I like to have four or five drafts.

We'll see. I'd rather leave on tour with it not yet finished than send off a half-assed manuscript. But people look at how long I have before I have to hand it in, and it looks like a lot of time. Except that I know how much distance needs to be covered. It's like a chess game, in some ways, where you might be many moves from the end, but you already know if you're in trouble, or not.

So far, if I keep my head down and working I should be OK.

Happily, I, for the most part, like what I've done. But, honestly, I'll only really know when I start the second draft.

Nice weather ahead, apparently. that's wonderful!! Hope you're well.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing about this writing stuff. I'm trying to write my first novel and I just love reading about writing. So, thanks again :))
Maryse Lafleur

Anonymous said...

Louise. Your books are a gift. So looking forward to the next one, and the one after that ! How you manage to woo your muse, and do all the other stuff,is a puzzlement. Your characters are old friends now; we would be bereft without regular visits. You were surely born to write, .and to give life to these wonderful people. Nuala.

Liz said...

I love to hear about your writing process. You remind me of my husband, when he announces that he needs "study hall conditions"! Usually I end up shoving him out the door and down the street to the Queen's University library. Not nearly as nice as an apartment in Montreal.

darlene said...

Thank you for this lesson, Louise. I'm trying to find the right structure and now, reading that you struggle to find the right structure on the second draft lets me know I don't have to do it from the outset. That removes so much stress.

The structure has to be perfect and you always find your way to perfect.

Barbara said...

Your book writing issues sort of remind me of when I first started having back pain. The therapist told me to take my walk but stop and turn around halfway to the pain so I could get home comfortably. Great. How do you know when you're halfway to the pain? Never have figured it out. :)