Sunday, 12 July 2009


I should be blogging more often. There's nothing worse than a neglected Blog.

I'm forging ahead with Book 2 which is taking shape nicely. Mortlock kind of grew organically then was taken by the scruff on a number of occasions and given a good shaking. Book 2 is being written to a deadline.

There's a qualitative difference between writing a book in the hope it might one day be published and writing a book that someone likes the sound of and will have a first peek early next year, thank you very much.

The difference is the phrase 'might one day.' Within those words is hidden the luxury of time. Time to think, to change your mind, time to make mistakes and start over again.

Don't think for one moment that I'm courting any sympathy here cos I'm not. It's just a difference I've observed. So I've been more precise with this one. It's mapped out in a way that Mortlock never was. I have copious notes on characters, societies, buildings, devices, things that might never make it into the book but I know they are there. I sent this rationale to my editor along with the synopsis and she almost wanted to publish the rationale too. So it was detailed.

The old adage in teaching (and elsewhere I suppose) is fail to plan, plan to fail. This doesn't hold true with writing I believe. Some writers let their work grow as they write, I've done that before and it's worked but with the luxury of time. Maybe I'll try that next time!


L-Plate Author said...

I'm a planner Jon, I do a month's planning before I start. I have a beginning, middle and end, a few things in between, some of the character's backgrounds and then I let the rest flow where it takes me.

Good luck with number two, I'm sure you'll have it sussed in no time, if you stay off the 'puter!

DOT said...

As I commented on your facebook, there is nothing like a deadline to gird the loins, focus the concentration, sharpen the pen and cry 'Help! I want my Mummy.'

JJ Beattie said...

Hmmm. I don't seem able to plan at all... I wonder what will happen if I am under the pressure of time that you talk of!

Panic? Yes, possibly.

Sue Eves said...

I think your work can grow as you write even if you do plan.

I plan and work with real and self-imposed deadlines but the story only truly evolves with the writing. I can't plan the detail - for me, the cause and effect comes from writing within the scene. Then comes the replanning.

On the other hand - I've had to plan because I'm co-writing fiction. We've had the 'luxury of time' but time is running out!

BarbaraS said...

Oh I don't envy you, Jon, but still you've got the work mapped out, so best of luck - dive in!

Michelle (Mickmouse) said...

Definitely like a bit of structure although my novel is definitely organic as it is written!! (That is a posh way of saying I don't stick to the plan!). Writing to a deadline would probably suit me as I am a dreamer sometimes.
Cornish Literary Festival is in Feb Half term next year. If you can make it, it would be fab to have you come and do a workshop. Theme is myth, magic and mystery!!!!


Sue Hyams said...

I have to plan otherwise the plot ends up wandering aimlessly into the either, never to return! Although your characters can often refuse to do as they're told! Anyway, can't wait to read the new offering!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Frankly, I rather like working to a deadline - it keeps me focus and stops me from procrastinating!
Good luck with Book 2 - I know you'll do it brilliantly!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Time is a luxury! Probably the most precious gift we have.
You'll get it done, and in the meantime we are SO PROUD OF YOU!!!

You've done our writing circle so proud.

Get a bit done each day and cut back on the FB time.... ;o)

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

gary davison said...

Best of Luck, John. Head down a page at a time it shall come!