Monday, 16 March 2009

Sometimes, Life catches up.

I had a pretty bad week last week.

First off, my wife and I had a pretty bad fight over something we really shouldn’t have been fighting about. And to make it worse, this time I was actually in the right – even my wife’s father told her I was. As you can imagine, this didn’t improve the situation for me. If my thirty-five years have taught me anything, it’s that if you’re going to get into a fight with a woman, have the decency to be in the wrong so when you have to apologise you don’t feel so bad about it.

Apologising when you’re in the right just doesn’t feel right.

On top of that, my last remaining grandparent, my dad’s mother, died on Monday night/Tuesday morning.

So, all in all, a pretty shit week.

On the bright side, I did get that creative urge that one often gets when times are bad. I took all my anger and frustration with my wife, and the grief, and forced it into a bit of a writing frenzy. I wrote over ten thousand words last week. As you may or may not know or care, I’ve been working on two stories synchronously. The first started out as a re-write of Reunion and morphed into something else. The second is a re-write of College by the Sea, and it’s this story I worked on feverishly last week.

I’ve relocated the story from the university I attended, Aberystwyth on the Welsh coast, to my fictional English coastal town, Westmouth, which is where Kissed by a Rose is set, and where the other story I’m working on is set. I’ve also decided in my own mind that even though the town isn’t mentioned by name, Westmouth is where Charlotte’s Secret is set too.

In relocating the story, I’ve had to alter great chunks of the narrative describing the town and university campus, I’ve had to rename many of the locations since many of them were originally Welsh, and while I was at it I’ve re-cast many of the minor characters, cut some of the others, and merged two fairly  major characters into one. One of the other major characters gets a new name too. naturally, I’ve taken the chance to clean-up and tighten-up the prose. I’ve also added to some scenes and cut others completely.

The plot of what I’ve re-written so far hasn’t changed very mush. Yes there are scene additions and deletions, but they are details rather than plot points.  At the moment, the story I want to tell is pretty much the same as it was before, with one huge difference. This time, I intend to finish it.

College by the Sea currently has a home at StoriesOnline and even though it’s not marked as inactive and incomplete, it does end rather abruptly. The current ‘out there’ version stops at the university’s Christmas vacation, which isn’t even half the story I really want to tell. So in re-writing it I intend to take the story to the conclusion I originally planned, which is at the end of the university calendar, not halfway through it.

Of course, all this is far in the future. It took me well over a year to bring Kissed by a Rose to a position I was happy enough with to submit to Phaze (my publisher) and working on two at a time could prove to be a mistake if it winds up taking longer. On the other hand, it could be a stroke of genius if it means I end up with two releases close together which may lead to sales of one feeding off the other. If they get accepted that is. And their acceptance may depend on the success or failure of Kissed by a Rose, which is now just two and a half months from release. So expect me to ramp up the promotion of the book in the not too distant future.

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