I’m trying to edit HALF WILD, the second book of my HALF BAD trilogy. But at the moment it’s not going well, in fact at the moment it’s not really going at all. This is not because of writer’s block (which I’m not sure I really believe in) but lack of time.
I had been warned by Ben Horslen, my editor at Puffin, that the months around publication of HALF BAD would be very busy. He’s right. I’ve taken a week out of writing for a tour of the UK and another week for a tour of the US. But I got back sixteen days ago and had planned to work through an edit of HALF WILD in that time. So why haven’t I? Well, I’ve been busy on other things, I’ve written a few blogs, done a couple of phone interviews, a few Q&A’s by email for magazines and . . . I’m sure there must be more . . . oh yes, I’ve read a book (one and a half actually) and washed, ironed, shopped, cooked, done the school run and watched a bit of the Olympics on TV. But still I feel like there are lots of hours unaccounted for.
To be fair to myself I have been editing, but as usual I have too high an expectation of what I can do in any given time. I’ve worked through half of the full draft of HALF WILD, cutting, adding and polishing and every few days I’ve been going back to the opening chapter to rewrite that. All told I’ve spent days if not weeks on the opening chapter, partly because it’s the opening chapter and also because the style is unusual and I’m not sure it’s working.
Anyway, when I got to the half way point of the novel I realised that I needed to tweak the plot – I had a surge of inspiration but the idea needs refinement. So I’ve decided to stop reading my manuscript for the time being and instead go for walks and stare out of the window whilst I work it all out. I’m nearly there, but still not yet ready to put fingertips to keyboard.