Monday, October 26, 2009

Past Lives

I lived another life apparently. In Dark Age England. Or so I was told at a party this weekend when talking about the book I'm just finishing off.

It's a little odd. I've been telling people I'm finishing for about six months. And it's true. I finished the novel to show an agent - now my agent - the very impressive Charlie Viney - and then finished it again with his comments included, and so on, until now - i'm finishing the book so I can sell it, and then they'll be comments from the editor, and I'll finish it all over again.

But apparently, my previous life had to be in that time, because the world is so vivid to me. The world's leading practitioner of second life reinformcement/enhancement - I can't remember exactly - is flying into Hong Kong and I could see her, if I liked. And I was quite tempted, I have to admit.

I've certainly found that this book, this topic and these characters chime closely with me. But they it seems to link into thoughts and ideas I had when I was a child. It runs off the kind of things I read when I was a boy: Njal's Saga, Laxdaella Saga, King Harald's Saga, and of course, The Lord of the Rings.

This edit is particularly exciting, because there is little to change. You are teetering on that sentence or paragraph, whilst you balance the rest of the book on your shoulders. And so you have to keep all that in your head, all the characters, action, story lines, love affairs, whilst thinking about that comma.

It has taken up most of my attention for about two months now, during which my ability to do simple things like answer emails, has ground almost to a halt. But I should finish this week, which prompts me to remember other novels, and how I parted with them. I like this one, and in many ways I don't feel that abrupt break, as this is the first of a trilogy, and the characters will continue into the next book.

Of course I meant to be chronicalling this whole period with this blog, but life somehow got in the way of good intentions, and so this is very late in the whole process. Passing a resolution long before New Year to keep up blogging my way through whatever is left of my time with this novel, which now has a name - or I should say it's now got a name that has stuck.

Dear Reader, meet Shieldwall; Shieldwall, it's an exciting time for me, because you will soon be meeting your dear readers.....


Justin said...

I set it up to have your blog's feed come into my e-mail program some time ago because I didn't want to miss it if you started posting again, because I was hoping you would start posting again.

You are an inspiration and not just because we share the same first and last names and a passion for words. Thank you for posting again.

Justin Hill

Justin Hill said...

Ah Justin Hill! You're on my list of to-do jobs, and your email was one of the many casualties of the last four months of drafting and redrafting - so delighted to have caught you here.

Thanks so much for the comments. I'm truly honoured. The good news is that there should be more blogging now I'm giving my head a bit of a rest.