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

Monday, 26 April 2010

A giant step for WfW

Novel: started in early October, finished today. Last chapter (4992 words) plus the previous 21 chapters comes out at 99,407 words. Say 320 words to the book page and I have a 310-page book. “Finished” is a nonsense. There are weeks of editing at all levels. I do not know how it reads end to end, whether it is has rhythm, vitality, surprises and all those intangibles whereby a string of words becomes a novel. Most important, do my two precious creations live?

The blog suffered. In defence, much blog stuff appears in the book which follows two people working in manufacturing industry and – unfashionably and possibly indigestibly – there is much engineering detail. Whether it finds a publisher or not, or whether I publish it as a vanity project, it discharges an obligation I feel towards engineers. They are my heroes and I feel bitterly that so few people give a toss about them.

The plot outline changed. The second main character eventually occupied half the story and chapters intertwined. Eventually the characters meet for a final chapter intended as an elegy of their professional concerns and their natures. Only recently I realised the plot structure resembled a rather more famous work – the progress of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus through the dense pages of Ulysses which culminates in Molly Bloom’s wonderful soliloquy. Entirely sub-conscious, I swear.

Along the way I started writing verse but cannot think why. In my opinion writing verse is easier than writing a novel: one is like torturing a beetle, the other like riding a python. This opinion is worthless if it turns out both are done badly.