Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cleaning the office

September already. Here in Australia we’ve just gone into spring, and the plane trees in the area where I live are beginning to grow their leaves, which at the moment are a tender and delicate shade of green. As befitting spring, this week I’ve learned that there’s to be a welcome addition to our extended family.

Yesterday I reached the three-quarter mark of the book I’m working on. It has the working title of “Amber Rose”, after the main character - though that might change. Three-quarters is an important milestone. The first quarter of a book is fairly easy to write when you are racing ahead to establish plot, motivation, and getting to know your characters. The second quarter is slightly slower, when secondary characters and subplots are being introduced, as well as the main plot being carried forward. Then comes the third quarter. This is where the writing tends to fall flat if it’s going to. I really slow down at his stage and sometimes it becomes a chore to find ways to keep the excitement up. So this is where I finished yesterday. Poised on top of the hill.
Now I’m going to have a short rest to get my second wind. Since it’s fathers day here, I’ll leave my dusty cave at the end of the house and become a human being and welcome my family when they come to visit dad. Then tomorrow (and Monday has always been my favourite day) I’ll start the race downhill to the finish, weaving the subplots together, solving the conflicts and tying all the ends together, slotting everything together like a jigsaw puzzle.
After that I’ll deflate with a sigh of relief, look round my office and see the dust that’s accumulated during the writing of this book. Then I’ll don my domestic goddess hat, pick up my duster and set to work, cleaning up after the last lot of imaginary visitors and getting ready to welcome the next.
Odd, but I can’t seem to set to and clean my office when I’m writing a book. Likewise I can’t start a new book until my office is clean and tidy.

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