Friday, April 07, 2017

Slow writers

A longer review of The Disenchanted Wizard - from Lorraine Orman - is now on KidsBooksNZ. She finishes the review by noting: Non-stop action and a strong focus on the child protagonists are combined to create a satisfying fantasy for readers (probably girls) of about 9 to 12. I was pleased to tell her that I know of two very enthusiastic boys who've also read the book, so we can take 'probably girls' with a grain of salt. It didn't seem to bother either of the boys that the main protagonist is a girl; anyway there are plenty of males in the book as well!

I've begun writing a fourth book, but it's in the extremely early stages so far, finding its way with some difficulty. And if the last book is anything to go by, what I've written so far is just as likely to be ditched by the time the book reaches its final form. 

I was pleased to read a long blog post by Anne Allen today called Slow Writers: Are they Doomed to Failure in the Digital Age? Having taken some two years to complete The Disenchanted Wizard, which by any standards is a relatively short book, I think I would call myself a slow writer. And yet two other books that appeared in 2014: Diary of a Prostate Wimp and The Mumbersons and the Blood Secret were each written in a few months. So maybe it depends on the book as to whether slowness is an element or not. 

Still, a book of 30,000 words should, you'd think, take a good deal less time than some of the books running to 600 pages or more that I've been asked to review in the last two or three years. But when a book requires constant rewriting and revision and rethinking, then any book of any length will take time. And a dose of procrastination doesn't go amiss either, when it comes to dragging out the time involved. 

I'm currently reading through an old journal I kept. At the moment I'm in the section written during 1990, when I was really finding my feet as a writer. Again and again I write of the struggles of trying to write with so many other calls on my time (I was working full-time and had five children), but also dealing with procrastination and with the difficulties of revising. So nothing much has changed it seems!


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