The website of the historical fiction writer.

First Base Reached

If you’ve got a copy of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus then this would be a good time to put it on.

‘Why is that?’ You may be asking. Well, last week I completed the first draft of my second novel! This has not taken as long as the first one. Half as long, in fact. The Viking book (still available for representation if any agents are reading) took a year to write the draft although it’s bigger and was my first effort but another reason is how I went about writing it.

I started writing the draft for the Viking novel (which would dearly love to be available in all good bookshops) whilst I was studying for my MA and had other assignments to do in the meantime. Also I would do lots of writing then leave it for a few days before starting again. Binge writing. A bit like binge drinking as you feel drunk if you’ve been doing it for a few hours, not eaten before hand and you sometimes feel hung over afterwards. This time I have written a little amount each day. This is useful to get drafts finished quicker but you may find you don’t get as involved with the story as before as you’re in and out very quickly. The important thing in both cases is to try to keep it in mind when you’re not writing. Compose scenes in your head but don’t act them out in public, especially if there’s violence and lots of swearing.

Anyway, although the book is far from finished, a milestone has been reached. If you have got to this stage, you’ll probably have heard other writers say ‘leave the book alone!’ This is important. Give it a month and do other things. You’ll begin to forget it and this will help with the editing. This is a good time to go to conferences, do lots of reading and learn how blogging software works. It’s also time to enjoy a few well-deserved treats.

Therefore, on Thursday I treated myself to a trip to London and went to see the Scott’s Last Expedition Exhibition (try saying that out loud twenty times) and the play Collaborators but you’ll have to drop by tomorrow to find out about those. Firstly I get more posts out of it and secondly the Hallelujah Chorus isn’t really appropriate music for them.

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2 responses

  1. Well done, James!!
    What’s this one about?

    18/06/2012 at 7:03 pm

  2. Thank you, Jan! This is set mainly in Moscow in 1918 just after the Bolsheviks take power in the Russian Revolution. I thought I’d take a break from the Vikings but they’ll be back soon… after I’ve edited this novel… and written the next one…

    18/06/2012 at 10:32 pm

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