Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Writing through the mess

We seem to have had a constant stream of workmen in and out of the house the last couple of weeks - first to fix the roof, then to repair the boiler which stopped giving us hot water, and lastly to replace the boiler when the old one was condemned. Lots of workmen means lots of banging and lots of mess and it's been difficult to concentrate on anything, but yesterday I surprised myself by writing about 2000 words.

I've put aside the Irish novel for now because I was itching to actually write rather than just ploughing through edits. Instead, I've unearthed a novel (novella? longish short story?) about a reality tv show set on an exotic island, which I started a couple of years ago. I lost confidence in it after 4 or 5 chapters because I wasn't sure I knew enough about the workings of tv production, but I suddenly realised that I could turn it round and write it from a slightly different point of view, which wouldn't need so much of that inside knowledge. It also needed livening up as the first chapter was deadly dull.

By last night I'd finished the first chapter, re-writing it as a scene between Nancy, the main character's agent, and her flat-mate, rather than just Nancy's own internal musings. It reads a good deal better as a result. Now I need to tackle the second chapter, a board meeting at the tv production company's office, which should be a challenge given that our plumber is hammering again. Oh for some quiet time on my own to think.

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