Well, I’m halfway through the first draft of my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel. Hit a snag with the subplot. Going to have to rework it. Luckily, I’ve come up with a cunning plan! At least, I hope it’s cunning. Time will tell.
Not entirely happy with the main plot, either. Gawd! What to do? Scrap the lot and start again? But I’m over a hundred and fifty pages in, so I’m reluctant to do that. I think devilish ingenuity will save it. I often find first drafts a bit lacking. But they’ve generally been rescued in later drafts. Must be true, otherwise why would my copy-editor for Deadly Reunion (out February 2011), say I handled the character development ‘superbly’? Love that man…
With first drafts, of course, you have so much to think about, you just want to get the story down; the characters, the plot development, the subplot (grrr!) and the rest. You haven’t got any brain to spare to get it right. That’s what later drafts are for. When I think how many drafts I had to go through for Dead Before Morning, my very first crime novel, I’m amazed I finished it. But I did finish it and I’m still proud of it these many years later.
The problem with the subplot I should have seen coming. I would, too, if I could add two and two. Though I might have been all right if it had only been adding. But this was subtracting – a whole different ball game. The problem was obvious from the word go. The problem is one of time. Eight bloody years of time! Way too long a time period to smudge over. But not to worry. As I said, I’ve come up with a way round it. Will wait to see what it looks like when I get it down on paper.
To divert from the work in progress, my last post was an interview with David Wisehart. I’ve posted it here on my blog (see below), I’ve posted it on my website, on Twitter, Facebook, CimeSpace. The trouble I find, is trying to remember where else I should post it. Must make a list. Another one. I’m always making lists. I find them essential or I’d never remember anything. Memory’s going, alas.
One of the problems with the main plot is I have one hell of a lot of characters. Admittedly, a lot of them only appear once. At least the suspects are limited, which is the main thing. I often wish I could have my characters marooned snowbound somewhere, as Agatha Christie did, with the telephone lines down and no signal for the mobiles. Trouble is my novels are set in the fictitious Essex town of Elmhurst, not the Scottish Highlands. Could always do as Raymond Chandler advises and have a man come in the room with a gun, I suppose, and shoot half of them. That would be a solution, I suppose. Not a good one, admittedly, but- No, no. Must resist the temptation, if only to keep Dr Sam Dally sweet. He’d be none too pleased to be presented with as many bodies as in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Have you hit snags with your latest novel? Why not post a comment about it? A trouble shared and all that…
Must go. I have to get the copy-edited pages back to my editor. Then I have to wrestle with my latest Rafferty & Co effort. It’s not all fun being a writer. But a lot of it is. Better than my many day jobs, certainly.
Till next time.