Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This Voice Is No Longer Silent


So I've finally finished the first draft of Silent Voices for Solaris. My (slightly extended) deadline is the end of the month, which leaves me less than two weeks to edit the book into shape. It's a frightening prospect, but I have faith that I can manage the task. I always do; my work ethic gets me by.

Initially I'd expected the final draft to run to around 80,000 words - a short novel. This first draft is just under 97,000 words and when I edit I actually add to a novel rather than snipping stuff out, so I'm expecting the thing to come in at around the 100,000 words mark. That'll make it the longest piece of fiction I've ever written. Another scary prospect.

This has been the toughest book I've ever had to write. The nature of the beast meant that I wrote it organically, with no outlining, and during the sometimes gruelling process I was beset by writer's block, various health problems, and other less serious distractions. At one point I feared that I would fail, that I wouldn't get this one finished. But I continued to work at it, sitting down and writing often when sitting down and writing was the last thing I wanted to do. I've loved and hated this story, sometimes simultaneously. I've laughed and cried; I've raged and cajoled. It's been a real fucking trip.

And in less than a fortnight I shall be forced to hand the manuscript over to my publisher, where it'll begin the next phase of its existence. It's been so difficult, so very, very difficult, to get this written that I'm scared I might not want to let it go.

5 comments:

josephdlacey said...

Perhaps, Gary, doing it this way, it may not only be the longest but also the best thing you've ever done. I hope that's how it turns out. Will you be reading from it on Halloween?

Gary Mc said...

Cheers, Joe. Here's hoping...

I think I'll be reading a short story at the Halloween gig. I'm not that keen on reading extracts, and Michael asked us to read "a really scary story" when he first approached us to participate.

Cate Gardner said...

Two weeks to edit the book!!! Bloody hell, I think you better call in sick to work.

Gary Mc said...

Ha! :-)

My first drafts are pretty clean: they're kind of like film scripts, all plot and moving the story on. When I edit, I try to finesse the prose, add the (supposed) magic, and loosen the pace.

Ginger Nuts said...

I'm really looking forward to this one. I have just finished Concrete Grove 20 minutes ago. Right now all I can say is


WOW, brilliant,