I’m off to Contact 2016 this morning. I expect I will see a large number of the folks who are usually reading this blog over there, at the Hotel Jen, but for the rest of you, a blog post.

I am writing a story at the moment.

Technically, I am rewriting a story, because the first draft already exists in a notebook that I’ve been carrying around for the last month. Originally I thought this would be more akin to editing, but it’s not. The story that goes into computer is mostly akin to the hand-written draft in terms of structure – everything else gets changed.

Don’t get me wrong: editorial processes are useful, at this point. I’ve been working my way through all the planning suggestions in Charlotte Nash’s How to Edit a Novel, which provides an incredibly useful process for editing work, but my handwritten drafts are very spare and very messy and very, very wrong.

And so I am cataloguing problems in every scene, then redraft it from the ground up as I type. Getting the voice right, clarifying the context and the mood and the themes.

I’m taking my time and getting shit right.

It’s taken me six months to get to this point. Six months, four notebooks full of drafts, and the words I should figure out what my redraft process looks like uttered so many times that it became meaningless.

What got me started on this particular process was a deadline and the temporary loss of the laptop to repairs.

There is nothing like being unable to do something that makes you want to sit down and get started on it, especially when someone is saying so, you realise this is due soon, right?

I am actually slightly grumpy about going to the con. I’ll enjoy myself while I’m there, and I look forward to catching up with folks, but there’s a part of me that would be quite happy to lock myself in the flat and finish this here story.


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