Greetings Atomic mates. I didn’t get chance to make a Six last week for my serial I. They. Evolve., nor this week, even though I’m currently on day 10 of a 12 day vacation from work. I’ve spent the time finishing my novel, and am pleased to report it’s done 🙂 It’s hard to describe the feeling of finishing a piece of work that clocks in at 108 thousand words and has taken a good year and half to write. The best I can describe it right now – relief, a natural high, an accomplishment, a crashing over the line of an epic long-distance race in which you’ve stayed focused and kept going during the highs and lows and hurdles.
Truth is, once a novel is finished, it isn’t… because there follows then the final edits, polishing, and if you’re looking to get published the traditional way then there is a synopsis to write, an elevator pitch, a covering letter and researching the most suitable agents for your work. I’m fortunate that I love the editing process, for me the edit is the true art and skill of writing which follows that initial burst of creativity and development. I’m fortunate too that I edit frequently, so I know there are many chapters already ‘pitch perfect’. As for the synopsis… agghhhhhhhh, pain, hurt, misery and sleepless nights! I hate the synopsis part.
Some say writing a novel can be a lonely business… hours spent hunched over a desk, not seeing anybody, not going out , not eating correctly, becoming pale and spotty and cranky, drinking too much caffeine… and I would completely agree 🙂 But it can never be a truly lonely business really, not when you are in the company of such rich characters and in situations and landscapes as hopefully you have brilliantly created!
So, the novel, it’s done, yipeee, but still work to be done.
For my entry this week I decided to use the ‘Find’ function of MS Word and see how many times the prompt word of ‘island’ featured in my finished novel, and if I could scramble a Six together. Out of 108K words it appeared just five times. So this week I present my Six as an adapted extract from the novel. It features the main character, Iris, as she comes to terms with her connection to a library she has discovered in a lighthouse. It doesn’t have a title of course, so I’ll name it ‘All the Books’ for the purposes of this week’s Six and the prompt word ‘Island’
All the Books
She giggles, and tilts her head to read the spines of the faded covers and peeling jackets, and she yips in delight at her recognition of the tomes plucked from their wooden shelves. Her eyes skip and cartwheel and gambol across the pages at the countless words in ink, not unlike black treasure spread upon sails gathered from the masts of floundered ships. Is she rich now beyond her wildest dreams, is she wealthy with leisure at her castaway status – with all these dear books? Gulliver’s Travels and Robinson Crusoe and Moby Dick and Treasure Island… but of course, old friends at the ends of the earth, where the sea can be heard crashing on rocks. Then, Turn of the Screw and Dracula, and Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, and Frankenstein and 1984, Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Famished Road, Blood Meridian, Of Mice and Men, A Clockwork Orange, Lord of the Flies, The Call of the Wild and A Good Man is Hard to Find. She dreams, yes, but never does she sleep, for what use is sleep when there is so much to read.
It wasn’t all writing during my vacation (but mostly it was lol), I managed to finish reading two novels I had on the go and watch Blade Runner 2049. It’s my birthday today too, so later I’m going to eat lots of cake and have two Belgium blondes.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Lighthouse painting – Neapolitan-Lighthouse. Ivan Aivanovsky.1842.
Bonus question: Out of the list of books which Iris discovers in ‘All the Books’ (there are 20), how many of them have you read?