I do try to blog several times a week, but it’s been ten days since my last post, and you loyal readers have Sweet Salt Air to blame. I’ve reached a critical point in the book – three hundred pages done, with the final climactic hundred ready to go. But … but … but …
Several sticking points. First, there’s a medical angle to this story, and though I’ve been working with a doctor in the Midwest since last summer, it’s suddenly showtime. That means re-reading everything he sent, making (another) list of questions for him, and, most importantly, firming up my timeline.
Second, I have seven items on my Sweet Salt Air edit list. I’m talking about threads that I may have started, dropped, and now need to either revive or delete – or threads that aren’t yet in the book at all, but that I feel will add flavor. When to do this editing? My initial thought was to finish the book, then go back. Then I rethought. Maybe it’s the OCD in me. I want things to be neat and clean before I tackle that final leg of the book.
So I’m re-reading. Again. I have red-line edits and post-its all over the manuscript, and am making separate lists of where each thread appears and what it says. In a case or two, I’m catching repetition and tweaking timing.
Some of those threads? Bear, for one. He’s the dog. Knitting for another. Just bits here and there for anyone who’s ever struggled with cables. Sex, for a third. Think of long nylon shorts hanging at just the right place on a pair of leanly masculine hips. And chewy chocolate almond candies, homemade and individually wrapped, for a fourth.
Focus. That’s been my mantra this week. I’m focusing on the whole book, not just one scene. And when it’s done? When I have a clean hard copy of these three hundred pages, I’ll re-read yet again, this time straight through as you all will do. Then I’ll move on.
I’m often asked if writing a novel is linear. For me with this book, it is not. I’ve gone back and forth, cutting, pasting, rewriting – the good news being that I do love the end product. The bad news, of course, is not blogging.
Actually, though, there’s another reason for that. Spring. The weather’s been gorgeous here, meaning that the time I might spend blogging, I’m outdoors. Warm sun, dry air, not-quite-pollen-time here in Boston – what could be better?
Of course, I crowed about this to my main medical resource for Sweet Salt Air this week. He wrote back to say that it was cold and rainy where he was. Why do I fear that’s headed our way? Maybe because it’s still only March, when the temp should be 40, not 70, and because April is rain-rain-go-away month.
What’s it like where you are?