Friday, July 27, 2007

The Long Dark Night of the Scribe

Spent a bit of time the other night lying in bed and picking at holes in something I've written. Thing is, the piece in question away with the editor so it's far too late for any tinkering.

I've found this happens now and again, that midnight ambush by scribely insecurities that point out in microspcopic detail everything I did wrong in a piece I've submitted.

Before pointing them out again. Over and over for hours.

I can't guarantee other writers experience the same thing, but I'd bet a large number do. And the worst thing is that it's all bollocks. A lot of the time if there's something wrong with a piece it's rarely an unmitigated disaster. It's just that when you send something out there to be edited it's out of your hands. You're powerless to affect it. And doesn't your subconscious love to remind you of that ...

The flipside is the 4am Lightning. That wake-up-sitting-bolt-upright-with-the-solution moment that electrifies your sense of purpose.

Had that the very next night, albeit on a different project - the long-shelved script I've been working on. After lying fallow for weeks while I do that grafting-for-money thing, I finally found time to pick it up again yesterday. Not only that, I gave it a readthrough ... once everyone was out of the house and there was no one to see me prancing around the kitchen, doing silly voices.

The verdict: it's waaaay too long.

Fast forward to 4am, and cue The Lightning. If I moved this bit there and knocked out that bit completely, combining it with another part ... well, it all just clicked.

Now I've just got to find some quiet time to write the bloody thing.

Meanwhile the proofs are back for In Bad Dreams, and I'm happy to say there were no major crises. Fired them back to Mark this evening and that's probably the last I'll see of the story until it's all in print.

And for those harbouring deep and abiding curiosities about IBD, there's a chance to grill the editors, Mark and Sharyn, at a virtual convention taking place on the Net on August 4. Click the link for details!