Saturday, April 06, 2013

How long stories take to write, and a seminar on social media for books

Funny how the different things you write can take different lengths of times, however similar they are in word count. Three weeks ago I had the idea for a story and completed it all in one week, and then the week before last in three swift days I wrote a second which had come to me as I was writing the first. However, the next story I turned to write had been brewing for a year, which means it had a pretty long gestation period. And when it came to the actual writing, I couldn't decide how to approach it - in retrospect, maybe that's why in a whole year I hadn't got round to it. I also discovered that before I could approach it anyway I needed to do a fair amount of research. So I spent the whole of last week researching, and it was only at the end of that week, with all the facts collated and bringing with them images which in turn sparked connections, that I finally saw how the story must be done.  And then of course I needed a short break over the weekend, in order to let the research settle back into a more general sense of background (rather than a series of facts asserting themselves and insisting on being included), so I still haven't even begun the actual story. And next week will be interrupted by a necessary visit to relatives, and - if I don't get the story written around that in the week - the following week there'll be a three-day visit to London stirring it all up.

And I do wonder sometimes if interruptions affect the outcome, making a different result from that which would have been produced by uninterrupted concentration.... 

My visit to London will include taking part in a panel discussion on book promotion via digital social media, which is part of the London Book Fair's Love Learning Programme. My fellow-panelists will be my inspired and energetic publisher, Salt's Chris Hamilton-Emery, and two of my brilliant fellow Salt authors, Katy Evans-Bush and Christina James. The seminars are free, but I think you have to have bought a ticket to the LBF to attend. Here are the details:

Tuesday 16th April 11.30 – 12.30, Cromwell Room, EC1

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