Friday, 17 October 2008

Gentlemen, start your engines.

Now that wasn't so bad, was it? A bit like your annual appraisal, in fact - never quite as bad as you fear it will be.

I'm up and running, with 1,180 words knocked out on Quackenbush on day one of the big BUTA challenge. It's now one o'clock in the morning and my head is telling me to carry on, but I need to be fresh for tomorrow so it's time to wrap it up.

From a writing perspective, I was expecting to launch straight into Manx Giant, leaving some time aside to read through Quackenbush and get back in the swing of things after so long out of the saddle.

But as it turned out I just picked up where I left off two years ago on Quackenbush and the words, which had to be coaxed out at first, were soon flowing. Putting a project to one side (for any decent period of time, never mind two years...) is an essential part of the writing and editing process. Reading it back, it feels like someone else's book; the characters seem new and fresh and you feel somewhat distanced from the project, which helps you look at it from a different perspective.

One reason why it came so easily to me is that I'd already polished off the ending - the last few thousand words are done and dusted, which helps focus the mind on the way forward.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the start, although I'm barely out of the front door in terms of the whole journey. There will be much tougher days than this ahead, believe me.

With the weekend here, I need to take advantage over the next two days and earn some breathing space (and Brownie points) in case I run into engine trouble during the coming week.

Quirky's morale-ometer - fine and dandy

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