Any form of writing is a long and patient slog. The act of writing is easy, the process of rewriting is hard. Most writers spend months just rewriting what they have written (Henry James was notorious for rewriting 90% of his work). In 2009, I took place in NaNoWriMo and drafted the bare bones of The Reformation, back then it was a mere 50,000 words.
Over the last year I have stripped it to pieces, took it apart line by line, character by character and rewritten vast sections of the story. I often worked back from ideas I had towards the end of the story, killing off any characters that were redundant and creating identity within the story. The heart always remained the same, an SF love story. A tale that tackled the difference between living and survival. Today, I came to the end of the second draft (actually, it is the third re-write but I just tinkered in the first draft, made notes on names and characters – which are still packed away in a box after my move).
Now, I am leaving the novel until after Christmas, give it time to breathe and fester, for the bad and good to boil down into something that I can tackle. The next edit will see more go more crazy as I read it aloud and then, then comes the scary part, the publisher. That I will let you know about at a later date.
It’s a good day to finish as today I got a copy of Gargoyle 55 containing my short story, The Song of the Whale Boy.
– Andrew Oldham 15/12/2009