On Rewrite Heaven

I realise with chagrin and alarm that it’s been positively ages since I wrote my last blog…the period since Christmas has been a non-stop whirl.  Apart from pursuing what I laughingly call my day job (teaching TV drama), of which more anon, I’ve been heavily into rewrites on two projects. One of them is a feature film set in Wales, which I’ve been working on with a top-notch director.  And the other is the much-awaited (by my editor and publisher – ‘Damn you Palmer’; they’ve been screaming, ‘where is that new book?’) new novel RED CLAW.  It’s an action-packed shoot ‘em SF thriller on an alien planet with, I hope, a serious undercurrent.  My new editor DongWon Song has given me some splendid notes, and so has Orbit publisher TIm Holman,  and I’ve almost through the rewrite.  But I haven’t had time to come up for air for some weeks.

I gather that some novelists fear and dread rewrites – but having been a TV writer for so long I expect and rely upon a chance to do a second or third draft, and I relish the insights an editor can bring.  For me, rewriting is one of the best bits of the writing process; that terrible fear of wondering ‘what happens next’ has gone, and you can focus on finding more and better in what you’ve already written.

Rewriting can be a drug, in fact; I had to write a note to my daughter’s teacher last week and after fifty seven drafts and a coffee break, I was icily informed that I’d missed my moment – she’d already gone to school, some hours before.  But hey! You can’t just dash these things off.  This was one hell of a note to Teacher!

I’m also immersed in research on another project, about art fraud and art forgery; so my head is a very strange place at the moment. But I shall endeavour to get back into blogging mode.  I’ve just been reading SF Crowsnest, which always boosts my energy level and reminds me of what an active community the SF/fantasy world really is.  And I was chuffed to get a mention in the Fantasy Book Critic’s Best of 2008 blog.  But generally, I have become a hermit crab, oblivious to what other writers and fans are writing and saying and thinking. 

But, I’m back…

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