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

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Novel writing - the electronic approach


LANGUEDOC LEISURE
I took tons of improving books to the villa and didn’t read any. Instead I occupied myself (French equivalent: s’amuser) with two well-thumbed Michael Connellys whose work I liken elsewhere to junk constructed in Meccano. However, I did examine my own novel on a Sony ebook reader, trying to see it as another person might.

The initial paragraphs describe a modern, architect-designed office building on a French industrial estate. The Crow suggested these be deleted and the novel start with the first mention of Hatch, the co-central character. Stubbornly I refined my start, and refined it again, unwilling to kill off my literary conceit. And yet it read undigestedly. The ebook reader showed it in a new light and hinted at a solution which might satisfy both The Crow and myself. We’ll see. In the meantime ”Mme le Corbeau, je te félicite. assuming you accept the familiar form of the pronoun.” (Grammatical booboo now changed in last sentence.)

LANGUEDOC LIMITATIONS
Over the fortnight five Iphones were intermittently available at the villa but only one was used briefly to access the Internet. Money was the determinant. Linking up cost £5 but no one seemed sure whether this covered a 12 hr period or a single hit. We were hag-ridden by a report in which someone casually downloaded a couple of films while in France and faced a £6000 bill on returning home. However two Iphones carried Solitaire, the bargain of the century at 59 p for the app, and frequently I drifted off into Solitaire dreamland where the mind works but not a thought emerges.

11 comments:

Rouchswalwe said...

Drats! The ebook reader photo doesn't enlarge ...

The Crow said...

I look forward to reading your revision, BB...and the rest of your novel, as well.

Now, I must google a French-English dictionary to learn what you wrote - although I guessed the salutation. What a deprived life, not to have learned another language. Good for Zach that he has Big Grandad to help him learn, and very good of you to teach him.

The Crow said...

Bless Google's little cyber-heart! I found a translator.

However, the congratulations belong to you, dear heart, for finishing, what seems to me, a Herculean task - writing a novel.

I tried to enlarge the photo, too, with the same disappointing result. Are you sure you weren't a striptease dancer in a former existance, dropping tantalizing bits of diaphanous chiffon along the runway, waving perfumed ostrich-feather-fans under our noses, arousing us to cry out for more - more! - MORE!

(My youthful truancies spent down in the French Quarter are to blame for that bit of nonsense. I apologize.)

Plutarch said...

Vous tutoyez, vous! Extaordinaire!

Occasional Speeder said...

Another piece of techie wizzardry.. A Hyper U receipt was found where everything has been catergorised not kept in the order it was swiped. Well there was no way we piled our purchases weirily onto the checkout in the order they appear listed not at the dreaded Hyper U. The first is "Liquides" - 7-up and Desperados get a mention. An astonishing amount of pizza is listed under "Charc. Trait. Sauc Sec.". Only two items appear in "Legumes et Fruits" - one is prunes... "Loisers" has a Casque Lance Moto??? Finally - always finally - "Bricolage" - where two things are so heavily abbriviated I can barely decipher them. I think one is your Crocs and the other an item of haberdashery. I won't expand as I beleive you may blog about this at a later date....

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): Just to exasperate you further the page selected was beyond those with which you are familiar, it was enlarged to the maximum type size (and thus offered very little substance), and lines of dialogue meant there was even less to chew on. Sorry about that.

The Crow: You deserve felicitations (even in English) because you identified a genuine defect. Surprisingly, writing the MS was not half as Herculean as editing it is proving to be. I've been home three days now and I still haven't resumed this laborious task. I didn't intend to tease you both with the pic, only to cut out the surrounding computeresque mish-mash - this also reduces the file size, restricting the zoom facility. It's also quite hot.

Plutarch: I agree I don't readily tutoyer but I'm glad of your comment. I looked again and found I had made a grievous error in the post, now corrected.

OS: The Loisirs oddity must surely be one of those little purchases with which we bribe Zach. Three haberdashery items were bought (a reel of cotton, needles, and some tape) and, as you guessed, these are the dramatis personae in a forthcoming post. Dramatising them is alas proving to be somewhat difficult. Replaced my only pair of shoes today! How's that for decisiveness?

Hattie said...

I hope you aren't succumbing too much to popular taste.

Barrett Bonden said...

Hattie: Popular taste is not a one-way street; one may return. For the record I'm presently reading "The Anthologist" by the American writer Blake Nicholson, a novel Plutarch lent me when we last met at the Blogger's Retreat. Around a vestigial plot about the narator's personal life is strung what amounts to a vividly composed textbook on how to write poetry, together with an analysis about how readers react to poetry. Sounds as dry as dust but it is elevated by a demotic style. Since I have dabbled in verse this past year (I have never aspired to the greater art) I am surprised to find I have shared the same problems faced by Keats and Auden. The difference is, of course, the way these problems were solved.

Julia said...

The EU is working on bringing roaming charges down but I think there is still a way to go, and the mobile operators have an almost piratical view of roaming. Smart that you guys took care there.

Lucy said...

One can find prunes quite handy after a long car trip, one finds. Nuff said.

Seeing your own work on the e-book must be rather gratifying.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: I'd be terrified of owning such a thing.

Lucy: Short of having the thing printed, pro tem, this is the only way I know of achieving something like the "reader's distance" when re-reading and assessing a long work such as a novel.