Friday, 20 July 2018

What Do You Want, Dear Book? by Joan Lennon

Black Crake photo by Mick Haworth

See those lily pads?  Those are chapters in my work-in-progress.  See those big feet?  Those are mine.  See that look of intense concentration?  Yup, that's me too.

No two books want to be handled in just the same way, it seems.  And if you try to work on a story in a way it doesn't want to be worked on, all you get are diminishing returns and a sense of sinking into an ever deepening morass.  A veritable slough.  I'm usually thigh-deep before I recognise the message:


The current WIP wants me to go back to the beginning and RUN.  Leaping from chapter to chapter, fix what I can in a day and then onwards!  Onwards!  And when I get to the end, go back and do it again.  I'm on the second complete run through now and, though the fear of jinx is always with us, I'm going to say it's working.  I'm going to say I think it'll just take two more after this one.  And then it'll be done.  Though, when I say done ...

Do other writers wish their books would just come out and TELL US what approach they'd like?  What's the strangest thing a book has ever asked of you?  It's a funny old business, this writing lark.

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.
Walking Mountain.


Penny Dolan said...

Hope the run goes well and happily, Joan.

My kids go on the local Parkrun whenever they're here on a Saturday so maybe there should be a "Bookrun"? On the other hand, although the Parkrun is always around the same course, a Bookrun would probably end up with every book writer haring off into the distance or running round and round in giddying circles or even setting up their own hurdles to jump their way over. OK! End of writing race fantasy - back to the real world.

Susan Price said...

Penny, you made me laugh! And some writers would be climbing the trees or swimming the lake. Others would be lying back in the flowerbeds. Quite a few would have sloped off to the pub.

Joan - lord, I recognise your diminishing returns deepening morass!

Anne Booth said...

This is so good. I have a couple of finished books I need to work on - one for adults - one for children - and this approach you are taking will actually help me very much I think!

Joan Lennon said...

You're welcome, Anne - but don't disregard Penny and Sue's suggestions - there's a lot of good ideas in there!