Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 27 November 2009

As I take up my sledgehammer

Making a metaphorical garden shed. Cut down a tree to make one of the corner posts. Too short so cut down another. Start squaring tree trunk but break off to mix concrete for base; work again on trunk and find concrete has set in mixer. Discard; mix more. Decide suddenly on walls half brick, half timber. Lay bricks and find concrete base is incompatible with brick pattern; adjust base with sledgehammer. Decide to re-orient the shed through 90 deg...

No it isn't a garden shed, it's a novel. And the above is a behind-the-scenes analogy about why that small para appears at the end of recent blogs. Some people who read this blog know the background; others deserve an explanation. Eight years ago I wrote about 7000 words of a novel and decided in September this year to resume. Three of my incomparable "links" volunteered to read what I'd written, one was more or less forced to. The judgement (albeit expressed much more politely) was it was saveable crap. The 7000 words were re-written, given a cautious thumbs up and more has followed.

I had hoped to pass out succeeding chapters to the links but, after a shaky start, I had to renege. Plot developments kept on forcing me to re-shape the tree trunk, and apply the sledgehammer. When I'm more confident I have something that's half permanent I'll try and resume.

The plot concerns the plight of a production engineer who has the misfortune to be working during the Thatcher era. This is intertwined with a contrasting story about... well I haven't told anyone about that yet. An interesting sideline is the potential race against senility this project represents. May I remind everyone I'm 74.

Novel progress 28/11/09. Ch.6: 0 words. Chs. 1 - 5A: 22,938 words. Comment: Hatch returns.


marja-leena said...

Love the metaphor! Actually applies to many things in life when you think of it. Best of luck getting it all square and tall!

Rouchswalwe said...

It's exciting for me to read those updates at the end of the posts. Hatch comes to mind and I wonder if he has noticed yet that of all the women around him, the heart of the ale wench is the one that beats true. Thatcher wasn't an ale-lover, I would venture ~ more likely drank lighter fluid or engine sludge cocktails to relax after a day at the office. But back to Hatch, who will discover that the ale wench is really a past lottery jackpot winner who has been holding on to her winnings just waiting for a man like Hatch to appear in her life. She has also spent all those lonely hours at the pub reading engineering manuals because of her secret desire of wanting to become an engineer, but she was cruelly thwarted by that other woman in Hatch's life, that vixen.

Well, someone has a little too much time on her hands here over the 4-day holiday, eh?

Plutarch said...

I was surprised that you should have wanted to share the novels development, and not surprised that the story is changing as you write more. Please continue to keep un informed as the shed goes up and invite us to the shed warming ceremony when the roof is on, and the saw dust is swept away.

Lucy said...

Sounds most tantalising. Let us know when it's ready to read. I have every admiration for anyone who can even begin to write a full length work of fiction, and yours will doubtless bear the inimitable BB stamp we have come to know and love.

But tell me, under what name will you publish it?

Lucy said...

PS - having just read R's plotline, that admiration extends to her as well! And lo, the comment verification this time is 'ingenism' which seems most appropriate...

Rouchswalwe said...

oh dear, you do not want me to ever write fiction, believe me. A good friend and I were into the Goose Island Winter Ale (yearning for a bottle of Lucy's Telenn du) the other night and this plot was the result. I've been teasing BB a wee bit, nudging him to include a beer wench in his story, but his chapters are of a much higher caliber.

Barrett Bonden said...

M-L: I sincerely hope this isn't how you arrive at your best prints.

RW (sS): I should warn you, Hatch is due to suffer horribly. Ale wench, eh? That means re-setting the story in Bavaria. Just a few taps on the keyboard and it would give me an opportunity to show off my utterly spurious knowledge of German. Could be.

Plutarch: My offer to share was born out of gratitude to my "links". But it was a foolish gesture. I have chucked out a few hints about progress but they confused The Crow and probably others. After 10,000 words on the other character Hatch re-appears to me like a Brocken spectre. I was considering his fate last night (See most recent post) as Stephen Hough played Fauré's Nocturne No. 6. As I say, he needs to suffer.

Lucy: This is the most planned novel I have ever written and I have a detailed summary compiled eight years ago. I am looking forward to consulting this when the MS is finished and seeing whether there is any resemblance. Author's name? I had toyed with Box Elder but I worry about its confusing gender specificity. "ingenism" Wish you hadn't told me; I'm very much beset by omens at the moment.

RW (sZ): If you can do that une peu ivrée perhaps you should take over.