That's where my novel is (at bootcamp that is, not taking a holiday on the Yorkshire moors). It's all looking very clear, everything's fallen into place etc etc. Now I just need to put the hours in and it will all be done. Feeling very good about it. Not much time for blogging.
Last night I watched the first half hour of the new Wuthering Heights mini-series. I reckon finally (finally!) someone has got it right. Heathcliff was menacing and scary and didn't look as though he was wearing a wig and a spray on tan a la Ralph Fiennes. Perhaps for once it will be true to the book ie all the characters will be loathsome. I have recorded the rest to watch as a treat for doing my work.
Wuthering Heights has been a very important work for me lately as you may have read on this blog. Last year I attended a series of lectures at Canterbury and even wrote an essay on it in an attempt to get into the head of the main character in Magpie Hall. The book itself plays an important role in my new novel - you'll just have to wait and see how.
A full draft, anyway. I've had a marathon 8 days in which I wrote more than 10,000 words. Please refer to my picometer, to the right. 100% done. Now the real work begins, whipping my novel into the best shape it can be. Sending it to bootcamp, perhaps. I think I might take the weekend off. Here's my reward:
Congratulations to all the finalists in the Montana NZ Book Awards. I was really pleased to see Eleanor Catton on the short list for the fiction prize. I confess I haven't read The Rehearsal yet, but I always think it's a wonderful achievement for a first novel to get onto the shortlist for the big one. The book is on my TBR pile, honest. The only one I have read is Emily Perkins' Novel About My Wife, which I loved. I was sorry that Paula Morris's excellent collection of short stories didn't make it - surely she is long overdue to have her work recognised. But while last year was the year for short fiction (Alice Tawhai and Charlotte Grimshaw both on the shortlist of four; Grimshaw taking out the prize), it seems this year is the year for Young Adult fiction, with the inclusion of Bernard Beckett and Kate De Goldi, and the teenaged protagonists of Catton's novel. I have no complaints - I understand awards for what they are: the subjective opinion of well-qualified people who will no doubt choose different winners from the next set of well-qualified people.
On another note I have had a burst of productivity on my novel, and my deadline is looking easily achievable if I can keep it up. I also have a final title, all other options being rejected for one reason or another. The title is:
The Sound of Butterflies was the title of my first novel, published in the UK by Picador, in the US by William Morrow and in New Zealand by Random House, and translated into eight foreign languages. In 2009 my next novel, Magpie Hall, was published in New Zealand by Random House, and in 2012 my first novel for children, Red Rocks. This blog is my thoughts on the world of writing and books.
Photo by Sharon Blance.