Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I actually did some writing today

Sorry if any of you fell off your seats there. And before you get all overexcited, it wasn't a great deal of writing, just a new scene to end off a shorty I wrote a while ago. I wasn't quite happy with the way it ended, and a new version popped into my mind whilst I was thinking about something else.

This seems to happen to me quite a lot. It's a bit like those situations where you think of a really funny reply to something someone has said, only not until the next day, or on the way home when it's far too late and the moment's passed.* At least with writing, you get the opportunity to go back in time and do it again. Except that at least three people have read this story with the old ending (four, now I come to think of it, Sandra, Trace, Mr Stuart and my agent. That must be some kind of record.) So for them at least, the effect of the change will be a little muted.

I wrote a novel and changed the whole ending once. I now have two versions of it, identical up until the penultimate chapter. After that they diverge completely. I still can't make up my mind which one I like the best. If I were ever to find a publisher for it, I think it would be fun to randomly insert the different endings into editions with identical covers, just to confuse people. Or it could be like those old Diceman comics, where the story developed on the throw of a dice - six and it's off to the dungeons to be flayed with salt-spiked whips, three and you get to spend the night in the harem.**

Perhaps I should be less indecisive, stick with what I've done and leave well alone. I can be a bit of a neurotic fiddler at times, endlessly going over the same words, adjusting, finessing, changing and putting back. I guess it's a displacement activity, like tidying the house,*** to distract me from the work I really have to get on with.

So enough demon-tormented detectives for now. I must return to my dragons.

Or maybe do the hoovering.

Or perhaps I could update the fruit and sheep of the week. It is Tuesday after all. Though as far as I can tell from the news, the Whooper Swan is still the only infected waterfowl, so it can stay this week's by default.

* or in one memorable occasion, three years later.
** I never really liked those books - too much work to read, way too much work to write.
*** though by the state of this place at the moment, you'd think I'd written a couple of novels this year already.


Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

I look forward to seeing the new version James.

I'm sure by the time you send it I'll have completely forgotten the original...

(ducks and runs)

April 18, 2006 8:46 pm  
Anonymous Gail, aka Dogma said...

Wow! Two endings. You are ready to release your novel and then, six months later, release it again with the "director's cut" version. LOL

April 19, 2006 1:24 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Or I could do a special edition, with deleted scenes and a 'how the book was made' documentary;}#

April 19, 2006 5:46 pm  

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