16 October 2007

It has been a while

It is several months since my last post. Life has been both hectic and alarming. For the past three weeks I have been forced into inactivity. You would have thought that inactivity would be an ideal opportunity to write, but I have not felt like writing at all. Today is the first day I have felt like putting pen to paper.

Prior to the last three weeks I was reshaping the first Mervyn Bright book in preparation for entering it into the Times/Chickenhouse writing competition. The maximum word count is 80,000 words and my manuscript was 89,000. To reshape the novel and also apply the changes my friendly editor had suggested (see previous post) I reckoned I needed to lose 20,000 words (six chapters). This proved alarmingly easy and all six were lost from the front end of the book without really changing the main story.

I also decided to change one of the main drivers, remove a main character, and change Mervyn’s motivation for entering the Academy while I was at it. The Mage no longer features in Mervyn’s life – she just didn’t fit into the second book and I eventually decided the best way to resolve this issue was to remove her from the first book. This removed a main driver for the entire story which I have replaced by beefing up the rivalry between Rufus Dracon and Mervyn, which I think improves both characters. I have also introduced a conflict between Mervyn and his father which causes Mervyn to run away from home.

So where an I now? I have finished reshaping the manuscript. The main task facing me now is to write a new first chapter that shows the conflict with Mervyn’s dad, the first conflict with Rufus Dracon and how Mervyn wins his place at the Academy.

Today I feel like writing.

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