Last week

Managed to get a good chunk of Fenchurch 9 down. Ploughing away at it, getting into the rhythm of it. Rediscovering the character. With each book in a series, it’s important to bring out a different aspect of the character – with Fenchurch, it’s about all the trials he’s been through, but this is bringing in a different kind of vulnerability, maybe a naivety in him that’s going to floor him because it’s a shock to him. It brings out another side of him that I didn’t know about, which is good to explore. The plot is the plot, but it’s what he goes through that make the books what they are.

Had an appointment at the hospital in Edinburgh and I’m on the waiting list for an ablation procedure, where they’ll scrape away the veins in my heart to (hopefully) stop the AF returning. I need to lose weight to maximise the effectiveness, so my focus will be on that over the next six months. I want to lose the weight anyway, so it’s a hardcore motivation.

Anyway, as I was in Edinburgh, afterwards I drove up to meet my parents in Perth, then went on to Carnoustie. Very nice to spend a long weekend with them, did a lot of walking and just being, which I’ve not been doing enough of recently. Even did some sneaky book research for another Vicky Dodds book, if I do one.

Visited the Victoria and Albert museum in Dundee for the second time, so my folks could see the Michael Clark exhibition, which blasted music by The Fall and the Velvet Underground to performance by his dance troupe. Highly surreal, camp and grotesque. Highly recommended too. The title of this week’s missive comes from the slogan on the wall on the balcony outside which looks across the Tay to north Fife.

Oddly enough, a reader messaged me to ask if I was in Carnoustie. Of course, it wasn’t me who they recognised, but Bessi. Typical, eh?

This week

It’ll be head down this week, trying to get at least a quarter of the book nailed down. Left it in a good place on Wednesday, with a big chunk of stuff done. It’s shifting a bit away from how I imagined it would in the outline, but nothing major, more in the format and chaptering. Picking up yesterday’s work and editing that before flowing into today’s is a good discipline I’m enjoying. While it’s slowing me down in the first draft, I think it is coming out better from a writing and character standpoint, so it’ll save my time overall. I’m tweaking stuff with it, like giving the first pass a bit less detail and putting that in the next day. Psychologically or neurologically, I seem to be pretty flow-y first thing and take what’s written and hone it into something good, so when I’m working later in the day and it’s not coming together as fluidly it’s because I’m pushing it too hard, so I’ve found that focusing on the dialogue and general action/shape of the chapter is a better way to get it working. I hope that make some semblance of sense! What I mean is that when I expand the outline into the first draft, I’ve been focusing too much on making that first pass very clean and pretty, when I what I need to do is make sure it’s broadly in the right area and the flow is right, then I can finesse and expand on the second pass in the morning.

Anyway, that’s it from me this week. Just getting on with that. Writing, writing, writing. And walking. And not eating much. Harrumph!

Take care of yourselves this week.



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