Monday, March 23, 2009

Cringeworthy, ancient things found in desk drawers

I'm jumping ahead of myself as a writer. I keep having ideas and juggling them around in my head. One of the bright ideas I had was to dust off a manuscript that I've been carrying around with me for 30 years. First draft and second draft written in Cambridge, based on a short story I wrote for a Soviet History course when I lived in Pittsburgh. Third draft written in east Berkshire, the last draft written in Suffolk. Each version more laden with cliches and purple prose and unfeasible coincidences than the last.

Now that I'm older and I've had a life, I think I can do a better job. So, while book number 2 is resting, awaiting a final polish, book 1 is being queried, book 3 is on the back burner as a potential non-starter, book 4 is the rebirth of my Great Russian Epic. I've made a good start, I've swept out the shades of aubergine, violet, lavender and plum; dumped the cliches and coincidences and, off I go, back into the chaos of the Bolshevik Revolution. Of tremendous help to me is the, wait for it, TEN PAGE SYNOPSIS. Of less help is the first chapter which, of course, starts with the MC WAKING UP and then a huge, embarrassing amount of back-story and shameless info-dump.

So, just for a laugh, I'll leave you with an extract. If any readers happen to find this blog and, if you happen to be a writer type, leave me something ancient or embarrassing that you've written.

"Natalia laid awake in the pre-dawn gloom and watched the bedroom ceiling spin madly above her while her stomach lurched in the opposite direction. Outside snow hissed against the darkened window and the street below was whispering with the beginning of another St. Petersburg day...."

Right, I'm outta here. I'm the one with the paper bag over my head, burning Roget's Thesaurus with a magnifying glass and the Arizona sun.

1 comment:

  1. I think its coming alone nicely! I even read some while I was supposed to be working in the computer lab :D.