Thursday, July 12, 2007

Insistent characters

A lot going on at the moment as I'm preparing to leave for Europe soon--Spain and Ireland. To top it all of, it's July 12, Orangeman's Day back in the old sod though of course I don't take part because I'm the other sort. Live and let live! New Northern Irish tourism slogan--or should be.

Editing started on Unusual Steps--the new novel--and the UK publisher has now emailed 12 edited chapters. As I read Scott's edits, it struck me that perhaps the Unusual Steps manuscript contains two novels (I'd thought this originally)as it's a long manuscript and alternates between three people's points of view. There's Marcus, the shy Irish chappie who moves to London in search of adventure, and Julia, a wellbred young English woman who's an immigration officer at Heathrow and hedonistic, and finally Tilly Hartley, a meddling widow. Oh, and by the way, Julia's lesbian.

I'd always conceived of this novel as a series from the beginning. It's kinda 'in' to write series now, right!!. Well, that's not the reason I'm doing it...not at all. It's just I love the characters and they have a lot to say. They're interesting and some are just downright eccentric and I'm having a lot of fun with them and, let's face it, writers should have a bit of fun with their creations when they labor alone in quiet studies and dens.

It's certainly a very different novel to Gabriel.

Anyway, both the editor and I chatted today after a few days of pondering--via Skype, which is the way to go if you're calling the UK because it's computer to computer and free--and we've decided its definitely the first two books in a series and I'm now going to pull the story apart and write Marcus's story. After I've done it, it'll be sent back to Scott who'll edit it.

It's a lot of work, especially since I've just emailed my agent the finished nonfiction manuscript of my first few years in America. After he and Lyndsey read it, they'll send me changes they recommend and that'll have to be reworked, too. But stories must be written the way they're intended to be written. No half measures allowed, not in my book. And besides, my characters refuse to allow me to tie them up in one big novel.

So all in all, it's going to be a busy, busy Fall.

No comments: