Word tracker

My Works in Progress

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The written novel

Good morning.

It is done. I actually put the final full stop on the page at 5.45 pm on Saturday, but that wasn't the end of the first draft, because I always edit the previous session.

I finished editing yesterday's work just twenty minutes ago at 5.55 am. I then made a cup of tea, sat in the dawn sunshine in my garden and listened to the dawn chorus. (We live about a hundred yards away from a spinney - so the noise was actually quite deafening.) I was joined in my garden by a pair of collared doves, a finch of some sort, a blackbird and some starlings. Did I imagine it, but did they line up on my fence in a sort of avian fanfare in tribute to The White Cuckoo?

It's like pure, white fragrant-smelling linen - just the thing to place in your bottom drawer. It's a story to lift your heart. There is not a single ounce of grittiness; there are no (bad) swear words; no bawdy sex scenes. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry, sometimes at the same time. There is too much of me in it. I have exposed my soul.

Will a publisher want it? I don't honestly know - I doubt it. It's probably too simple and honest. But I know I needed to write it like a drowning man needs a lifeline.

There is a lesson for all of you here. I almost lost something so fundamentally a part of me because of this dream we all chase that is 'publication'. Okay - I know I have an agent, and I'm grateful for that but never, ever again am I going to let anything get in the way of writing just for the pure enjoyment of it. The pressure suffocated the words in my head before they could reach my fingers. It made me sterile and made me think too much about what I was writing.

Full stop. The end.
RIP The White Cuckoo - 4th April 2009 to 3rd May 2009.

(PS - final word count 96,361 if anyone's interested)


HelenMHunt said...

That's bloomin' amazing my dear. I'm so pleased for you that you've managed to recapture the love of writing. You've had an amazing month and that will stay with you. And I bet it does end up being published as well!


Poetic present posted ;-)

"Lighter Load" by TF

Songbirds soulfully sing
Cuckoo!, Cuckoo!, Cuckoo!
Writer's words written
Novel now nailed
Proof-read, posted, published?
Hip! Hip! Hooray!

TFx ;-)

Lane said...

Annie, you did this for you and you've proved to yourself (and to us) that the enjoyment of writing is the most important thing. I take my hat off to you:-)

Karen said...

Wow, I'm in awe! Good for you for writing something you loved doing. I always think that passion must shine through somehow, so don't rule out getting it published :o)

Debs said...

Oh well done you. I'm so impressed, and I love your words about writing for pure enjoyment.

L-Plate Author said...

Annie, I am so proud of you...but not surprised. Writing is in you as much as it is in me. I realise now that I am writing a different genre how much of me was lost working with the previous agent, trying to make me into something that I wasn't. Now the words flow, the ideas flow and the first draft of book two is finished (in two months, I hasten to add!). I've read it back and although lots of things need adding to it, 90% is usable after a rewrite and I'm proud of that.

So after ten years Annie, I am improving but it's only by practicing, practising, practising. Just like you do. If it's there, it has to come out.

Well done again. x

Anonymous said...

You might say "RIP The White Cuckoo" but I have a sneaking feeling that it will become a phoenix at some later stage. As a writer I think it's important to rack up lots of work, even if much of it remains unpublished for ages. Better to have too much than too little. I think Stephen King agrees with me on this one.

"RIP Block" would be a more accurate sentiment. Well done and good luck with the ones in the pipeline.

sexy said...


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