Friday, June 29, 2007

The Floating Admiral Floats Away

Finished The Floating Admiral last night. It had become highly convoluted by the time the last chapter was written, and possibly improbable! And then, of course, once the book itself was finished there were the various solutions to be worked through. Sayers’ was the longest (and most amusing); Knox, in spite of claiming that he had no idea what was going on, still provided a solution, and of course by the time the book was finished the ‘inventions’ they’d created were superseded by even more complex difficulties. Though it was intriguing that one or two of them anticipated things that hadn’t been written when they presented their chapter.

I don’t know that it’s the most satisfactory way to write a novel – I was involved in a short-lived novel writing experiment some time ago in which each person in the group wrote a chapter. But the problem was that each new writer came up with more extreme and ridiculous things as they went along. It was fun but not very productive. In the end, there needs to be an overall mind at work. (Something Sayers herself would have agreed with, if her The Mind of the Maker is anything to go by.)

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