The Joy of Restraint
Salutations dear readers.
Following my standard pattern of doing some blogging and then just disappearing for months on end it seems that the cycle has come around and here we are in June with an update on what’s been happening.
Well, for a start I stopped going to the cafe to work, and while it is certainly important to find somewhere where one can work, I opted to make a space in a spare room where I set up a desk and my old record player. The upshot of this is no more stress trying to get to the cafe in time to claim my preferred seat before the cycle brigade make their sprawling conquest of the shop. As a result I’ve been listening to plenty of vinyl and am currently in the depths of an afrobeat binge – I don’t remember how I came across Fela Kuti, but his story was fascinating.
Anyhow, more importantly I started to double up on my day to day sessions where I could, writing both in the morning and the evening and sacrificing some of the less virtuous past times. The pressure, you see, is on.
For a start the book was becoming huge. Not necessarily a problem for fantasy, but a potential problem for a first novel. Publishers see BIG and think COST! A good friend of mine asked if I could not break it up, but it didn’t seem likely. Pondering the problem I thought I would remove the first chapter of about 4k words as it was somewhat disconnected (but still vital to the story). Realising that there was a small story between it and the main bulk I decided that I would fill it in. Two months later and I’m in the final arc of what might have been a prequel, but now makes the whole thing easily split into a nice trilogy of moderate sized pieces.
And the title of this post? Well, it wasn’t to do with my accidental clicking on something called Shibari You Can Use. Consider me enlightened, but I now have bondage rope appear in my recommended items thanks to those pesky algorithms.
No, what I refer to here is that working on this previous segment, there was a sense of limitation to the story. There was no chance to go wandering down creative tangents, or to deviate into grandiose plot sequences. It didn’t mean I couldn’t be creative or inventive, but rather there was a simple joy in just filling a gap that already had a size and shape.
The aim now is to have it revised within a month or two and sent out to test readers. Then begins the work of writing the proposal for it – one element of which is the bio for yourself, something that I have played around with. I wrote a new one recently late at night for this blog by way of experimentation.
For now it’s back to the grind as I wait for the postman to bring some more vinyl, this time offerings from Fela’s son Seun.
And as the year swings into summer, I’m certainly feeling a surge of optimism. Until later then, dear readers.