Finally, at last, etc.

I have finally stopped myself procrastinating and started the read through of draft one, novel #2.

Before starting, I:

  • Made a nice wall-chart of juicy quotes from Macbeth
  • Studied Penelope Leach to make sure my addled parenting memory isn’t confusing what a three year old child can and can’t do
  • Printed out research photos and stuck them up on my wall
  • Caught up on emails
  • Have been very quick to respond to requests from Sam Eades, my powerhouse publicist at Headline (who is sending out proof copies of CUCKOO as I write this)
  • Made up some Ikea cardboard boxes I bought last week…
  • …Boxed up old drafts of CUCKOO, taking time to look at my annotated first draft to see how much I altered (almost all of it)
  • Cleared some space on my bookshelves
  • Bought yet more index cards, stickers and stars
  • Put Draft One in another lever arch file because the one it was in had got squashed. (I was actually quite pleased when I saw this as it gave me something else to do before I had to Get Down To It).

Then, finally, after some interruption from Monkey (our cat), who couldn’t decide if she wanted to be in or out of my studio, I sat in the arm chair and read through the first three chapters. They are now barely visible under scrawl.

And I’m going to just put this strange revelation down here, so that I don’t ever forget it:

I REALLY ENJOY EDITING MY FIRST DRAFT.

The idea of confronting  it was so scary that I build it up into this monster, but, actually, when I get down to it, and start seeing the trees rather than the whole wood, it is actually fun to be able to re-engage my critical brain after letting the subconscious bit go bonkers on the first draft. So I will look at this tomorrow as I start drawing and colouring in entirely unnecessary borders for my Macbeth wall-chart, and I will stop, and I will sit instead in the armchair and read and scrawl.

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