Tuesday, 19th February 2013. On limping into port, sails torn and masts askew
Well, it looks like there may well be a fifth Franck Guerin book after all. I've just made it to the end of the first draft of FG5
(although it still bears this code name on my computer's hard drive I actually do have a title for it,
but out of superstition – akin to the way in which newlyborns in previous centuries were at first given temporary names, infant mortality
being so prevalent that families were reluctant to potentially waste a good name on an as yet unproven child – I will
remain tight-lipped on that front, a first draft being about as fragile as they come).
Having lost my way several times when writing Wasp-Waisted only to plough through
Night-Scented and Loose-Limbed relatively quickly,
I had begun to think I was getting better at this writing lark. Hard-Hearted,
with its two false starts, shook my confidence a little,
but that was as nothing compared to the endless stopping-and-starting that marked my stumbling progress through FG5.
Now that I’ve got 100 000 words down on the page, I feel considerable relief.
A fair number of those words may not survive (if the previous novels are anything to go by, before the final version of the tale
emerges at least one key character will disappear, another will have to be summoned out of nowhere, and the
personality of a third will change completely) but at least I feel confident that the central intrigue both makes sense and is of sufficient interest to underpin a novel-length story.
Now all I have to do is shut it away for a month or so, establishing some distance between the two of us, before coming back and ripping its guts out.