I'm feeling very defensive. We're reading the feedback from six friends who have commented on the first 30,000 words.
Can't follow the thread. Too many characters. Too much chopping and changing in the dialogue.
What now? A rewrite? It's obvious that a series of flashbacks isn't working as a literary device. We agree on an introductory chapter, then a broadly chronological format. Seems like a lot of work just to be where we already are.
Saturday 15th April 2006
Elaine arrives at my house from Fife. She brings everything but the proverbial kitchen sink with her. Special pillow, back cushion, herbal remedies, tinnitus tape and tape player, assorted nuts and seeds. Pity she forgot the cable for her laptop. I might just have managed to squeeze it in to an otherwise overloaded car.
Wandered round the local Ottaker's (now Waterstones). Yvonne, the Manager, is generous with her time when we pick her brains about book stocking, promotions, titles etc. We're hearing yet again that 'ECDYSIS', our chosen title, just will not do. No-one will remember it and it will put potential readers off.
We're getting on each other's nerves today. She's in a picky mood. I am fed up with all the stuff lying everywhere. Previous versions mixed in with the current draft, newspaper cuttings about Booker prize winners for heaven's sake, articles on 'how to write your first novel'. Maybe we need a break from each other.
Some tussling over the editing process. Neither of us wants to let go of bits we have each written. Cutting a whole chapter is just too much even to contemplate. We agree to have a 'dump' file so that nothing is lost. Then we have some fun thinking of how we might write a sex scene. We promise each other never to use the word 'manhood'.
in the absence of a flip chart, we use pages from the Inverness Courier, down on our hands and knees, to record our ideas when brainstorming possible new titles. What IS in a name?