Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back to work…

I’ve actually been back at work ever since I got back from Japan, but there have been other more interesting things to post about. I had the printout of Adopted: Outback Baby waiting for me to proofread when I got back and I had to re-read and polish my latest manuscript and send it off.

And then I had a new book to start. That’s the really hard work.

Editing, revising, polishing, dreaming new stories, conflicts, characters and plots are all fun for me. Those tasks don’t feel like work at all.

The hard part is getting that story down on the page. Filling that blank screen – making what’s in my head come to life. Finding the words and finding the best place to start the story. I sit at my computer and write rubbish and scrap it. I try again. And scrap it. I go for a walk, get a better idea, come back full of enthusiasm and try to write it down. Realise it wasn’t such a great idea after all. And so the painful process continues until finally, finally, I keep little pieces of the rubbish and then I stitch them together and I see that my story is at last emerging.

That’s where I am today. It’s always a relief to get my muse's green light.

6 comments:

Annie Doyle said...

Barb
I love your writing and am a huge fan. I won't tell you what I have done with one of your books. Let's just say I examined it VERY carefully. I used you to model my own writing style from. Hope you don't mind. Anyway, blah blah. I have finished my first manuscript aimed at SuperRomance in Canada. Am at that dreaded edit stage. But then something wonderful started happening. Instead of being sick of the jolly thing I actually started to see a new weaving pattern within the story tapestry. That is the gold thread of tweaking words and themes. Hope it turns out as gold anyway. I am also having lightning bolt ideas for next story, so I will follow your progress too. (the expert teaching the kindy girl)
Regards Annie

Barb said...

Hi Annie. How lovely to hear from you. And I am so honoured that you've used my writing as a model.
But you know, I might not be so very surprised by what you've done. When I was teaching myself to write romance books, I used to go through favourite authors' books with coloured textas, highlighting description, dialogue, introspection etc in different colours, so I could see if my own ms had all the right ingredients.
I love the sound of your "gold thread of tweaking words and themes." And your lightning bolt ideas -- there's nothing quite so alluring as the next book when you're still revising and editing the WIP. (grin)
All the very best for your submission to Superomance. I'd love to hear how it goes.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi Barb

I was nodding along to everything you said about starting a new book. Finding the ideas and the characters and the storyline line -- that's all so much fun. And then you have to find the place to start, the right words, the engaging beginning. I swear, it sometimes takes me as long to get that first chapter right as to get the rest of the book down! This time -- I think I've found my start more quickly and I'm away. Good luck with yours!

Barb said...

Bron, so pleased to hear your latest book is starting smoothly. That's such a bonus.
I've had to scrap three perfectly good scenes before I found the right one for the start.
But I should be able to use pieces of the abandoned scenes later -- as I feed in the back story.

2paw said...

I am always interested to hear how different people write. I know at school some of the children loved to plan while others would write in the hope of something good appearing, and yet others would just write wonderfully complete pieces of work immediately: it's a gift I think!!!

Barb said...

Cindy, how lovely to have you back! I read on your blog that you've been feeling boogelly again and I tried to post. I do hope you're much better now and stay that way for ages.
As for different ways of writing, I have occasional times when the words seem to flow just the way I want them to and I hardly change a thing. But unfortunately those moments are few and far between. There are always parts of the story that flow more easily than others. Fortunately, once the book's published, it's not usually obvious that some bits came easily and others were wrung out with blood, sweat and tears.