Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paring and realigning

After blogging so little recently (because I'm so immersed in my writing) I'm going to make you groan. You'll know if you've been following this blog for the past year that this time a year ago I began a new draft of my novel in progress, and, in the obsessive way of us writers, I kept seeing symbols of the redrafting process in nature all around me. Well, I'm doing it again.

After working on the novel from April to the end of August, and getting about half-way through, I stopped writing altogether to promote the reissue of The Birth Machine. As I've previously described, when I finally got back to the wip after Christmas and looked at it with fresh eyes, I realised that I could in fact be going a lot further with the redrafting, and so I went right back to the beginning again. (I'm about halfway through once more.) As I've said before, this is the piece of work I've had to work on harder than any other so far: it's been a question of paring (over and over) as well as some radical realigning, and I can't help but see symbols of this in the bird life in our garden:

Firstly, paring. In our garden we have the bird house above, and for some years running it was used by great tits for nesting. But last year, although we watched a pair investigating, to our disappointment none nested there. In the winter we looked inside: no wonder, there wasn't any room, the whole thing was choked with nests from the previous years! So we cleared it out (just as I've been clearing the dross from my novel) and this spring there are tits nesting there again.

Secondly, realigning. This January three huge trees at the end of our road and close by were felled, just as my latest draft came in for the chop. And the crows that used to nest there? Well, they've found themselves a new structure: under the eaves of the next door house...

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