Monday, 10 February 2014
Writing a book in a post-quill world!
It got me thinking how lucky I am to be writing in a digital, software-rich age. For me, the greatest advantage - aside from always having a saved version and never having to send it off on the high seas - is the ability to shift around chunks of text.
Oh, the joy of being able to say:
You know what?
I think this paragraph here would really sit far better in that chapter there, and then that other chunk of text I've been saving for a rainy day/chapter, will slot beautifully into the vacated space.
In the past, that would have meant a lot of messy cutting and pasting, and arrows going back and forth. And, inevitably, a rewrite/type. But I guess it made you very careful before you put pen to paper. You would want to be absolutely sure you had every aspect of the plot and the characters in their right order and frame of mind before you started. No casual matter of getting started and seeing where the story would take you. That way lay exhausting rewrites.
So... my novel The Housemaid's Daughter is a child of its time: born out of nimble word processing software, hopefully free of spelling mistakes, and beautifully dressed in an elegant, legible font.
I shudder to think how much longer the book would have taken to write (more than the 6 years it did take!) if I'd had to contend with sinking manuscripts, and a jigsaw of alterations...