Saturday, 1 March 2008

Preparations

Exhaustion. Probably partly fencing related (I spent most of last night pushing a bunch of foilists to be ready for the Nottingham Open today) but also due to things like erratic sleep patterns and trying to do three or four things at once.

More work on the second novel. One thing I've discovered about the editing process is the occasional need to prevent myself deleting large sections. They're not that bad, it's just that I've tried to edit while in the wrong mood for it, or what seemed like white hot prose as I wrote it looks less good now. Thankfully, I seem to have gained the self control to make the things better rather than throwing a childish temper tantrum and losing work. It hasn't always been the case. I have to admit to having deleted at least one partially completed novel before. One of my stupider moves, on the whole.

In a (sort of) preparation for the cricket season, I've been rereading Gideon Haigh's Many a Slip, Simon Hughes' Yakking Around the World and Ian Peebles' Batter's Castle. The first is one of those wonderfully silly diaries of a club cricket season that manages to be meaningful partly because this stupid stuff happens to everyone and partly because it's written by one of the best cricket writers alive. The second is a decent account of the former Middlesex fast bowler's attempts to avoid English winters by playing the game in every southern hemisphere country he could find. It makes for an entertaining, if rather out of date, travellogue. The third is the oldest of the books, and is one of those ephemeral things that probably wouldn't be half as good if it didn't provide a window on sport as it was played eighty years ago.

It's about the best preparation I'm going to get, because it turns out my local club has forgotten to book any nets this season.

2 comments:

CdnReader said...

I have the ridiculously obnoxious habit of creating about a bazillion copies of any piece of writing in progress, ending with "v.1", "v.2", "v.3", ad infinitum. Everytime I delete or shift order of paragraphs, I'm always concerned that I may want that original piece of writing back again, so I start a new file.

I'm nowhere near novel-length writing yet. I may need a couple extra external hard drives, just to save all the previous versions as I go along. Sigh. ;)

stu said...

I tend to do the same thing with articles. I'm also inclined to save novel re-writes on different discs without renaming. It makes finding the latest version awkward to say the least.