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D-day minus 14

August 1, 2008

Book Three is due to be with the editors in exactly two weeks’ time. I’m writing this while leaving the manuscript to stew for a day or two before another read-through. I’m not sure whether this indicates laziness, desperation or just a blind faith that the subconscious will work out what needs revising while the rest of me goes shopping.

In the meantime I’ve wiped clean all the scrawly writing on the whiteboards. The plot points and dates and multicoloured arrows and question marks have all gone. If it isn’t in the book now, it’s too late. The only thing that can be done at this stage is to work with the words that are there – until the editors’ comments come back and we start Round Two.

As a little light relief, here’s part of a photo taken in the museum at Nimes. The thing held in the girl’s right hand is a mirror. Goodness knows what the official title is, but it ought to be something like, ‘Bad Hair Day in Ancient Gaul’. *

Painting of girl holding tress of hair up to the mirror

*Turns out the original picture is from the Villa Arianna at Stabiae (near Pompeii). ‘Bad Hair Day in Ancient Italy’, then.

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4 comments

  1. Hope all goes well with with Book 3! I’m bursting with curiosity about it but had better try to contain myself until it’s published. Very difficult for us Ruso fans, you know.


  2. Thanks, Sarah! The agent’s reading it at the moment, so I’m enjoying another day or two of guilty pleasure and reading ‘Gorky Park’ (having discovered Martin Cruz Smith rather later than everyone else). Dare not read anything Roman until Book 3 is well and truly submitted and out of the way – although no doubt there will be loads of changes. It must be nice to be one of those authors who gets it right first time. I’m just grateful for good editing.


  3. Ruth – Whatever you do, don’t let the unconscious go shopping. Very dangerous, apparently, according to my wife. As for the final changes – this is a very good time to remind yourself you’ve done this lark twice before, and done it very well. Why should this time be any different? Cheers, Dec


  4. Hi Declan,

    Well the agent’s still reading, so rather than tweak the book before I get her input, I’ve spent the day stripping wallpaper. * How I wish the unconscious would get off its butt and help.

    Thanks for the positive words – and huge congratulations on the starred Kirkus review. Brilliant!

    Ruth

    * Husband (a psychotherapist) would call this Avoiding The Issue.



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