So the work has begun on getting the novel ready for my agent to submit to publishers. It's a very different experience writing fiction knowing that someone other than the husband is going to read it and that someone (apart from the husband, who is possibly a little bit biased) is as excited about it as I am myself.
Going back to something that I had all but given up on is an interesting experience to say the least. When I started on this book I was working in radio. Even though I was a trained journalist it was a long time before I had written prose on a daily basis. Radio scripts are a totally different discipline. You're writing for speech and the style is spare and direct.
These days I write articles or at the very least a blog post every day. I'm used to self editing and will generally write 700 words or more a day without thinking much about it. Back then it might take me an arduous day to write 500 words of the book and writing sentences longer than 10 to 15 words was a struggle.
It shows. In the manuscript I had though was finished back then there are so many clunky lines and tortuous paragraphs that just cry out for the red pen. It's a strangely liberating experience, chiselling away at something that needs so much work.
I'm not saying that the book as it stands is a complete mess. There are passages I like and passages I don't. But it's the subtle finessing that I can do now that is really making a difference. It's exciting watching something that I had lost hope for turning into something I know I can stand by and be proud of.
Of course, this could just be editing mania setting in, the joy of knowing that I will get to spend the next few months working on something I love that isn't based on true events that need accurate description that must be carefully checked for legal techincalities.
That's not to say that I've given up on true crime. Far from it. I've another idea for a non fiction book that I need to start work on as well and the day job still revolves around rape and murder, as does the blog. But fiction is a different animal and I'm thoroughly enjoying taming it!