Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another Excerpt

I seem to recall promising to post another excerpt from my novel a short while ago. A "short while" that has stretched into rather a long one due to flooding problems at work and my recent holiday in Cornwall!

Anyway, here for your delectation and serrated critical faculties - finally - is an excerpt from Chapter 9...

Book 101: Excerpt.

Apologies for posting it as a Word doc download but 9 times out of 10 I post to my blog from work (shhhh!) and I'd never get this excerpt passed the sensors if it was posted as html.

As always, thank you to all those who take the trouble to read it, it's much appreciated.


TimeWarden said...

And there was me believing you're always rushed off your feet at work, cleaning out lavatories to leave little time for anything else, yet all the while you're surreptitiously posting to your blog!!!

The Sagittarian said...

I am interested in Cornwall. My Grandfather was born there apparently, and then moved to New Zealand aged 14. He was named Thomas James Rouse Jameson.
He was born in Mevagissey. I always imagined that as some dark and wonderful pirates place, pre-Prirates of the Caribean of course!

Old Cheeser said...

Exciting stuff, I'm intrigued!! Trevor is a real nasty piece of work, isn't he? I'm interested to know what it's all about and the reasons for the antipathy between the two characters. There's an excellent sense of conflict there and some good dialogue and description.

My only criticism (and you can take it or leave it) is that the confrontation does seem to go on for rather long - I think like me (so who am I to talk?) you have a fondness for description and drawing things out and perhaps get a little too bogged down in this at times. Maybe you could streamline the extract a bit by cutting out the less vital dialogue/description, to make the scene slightly more punchy? Bear in mind this is just a suggestion - and it's easier said than done, I know (this is he of the very long Dr Who blog posts speaking). I think as writers we can get precious about things and it's hard to let go bits of your writing sometimes!

Great effort though, I'd really like to read the whole finished thing.

Old Cheeser said...

Oh! One more thing. You misspelt "past" on the first page as "passed".

Gosh I'm such a stickler aren't I? Well I do work as an editor...Whadda ya expect?

-eve- said...

It’s interesting. A novel concept.

One thing.. I find it a little strange that Mike could so blatantly tell Trevor he was calling the police (in case Trevor killed him before they arrived. But maybe the treat of the police works over there). I don’t know the story, but it’s also strange why, if the book is so great, Trevor can’t load it off on someone else. Why Mike…? But answers can wait til your book is done…;-) Keep up the writing! :-)

-eve- said...

Forgot to mention; you can put up your award on your blog, and remember to pass it on to 5 other people! :-)

Steve said...

Firstly, a huge thank you to you all for taking the time out of your days to read the extract and to leave comments about it - I really am incredibly grateful; it's hugely appreciated.

TimeWarden: er... erm... ah... well, you see... er...! Actually I have no defense at all. I snatch an odd moment here and there to write - it is, I can quite honestly say, the only thing that makes my job bearable and keeps me sane.

Old Cheeser: thank you so much - your editorial skills are definitely appreciated. I too worry that maybe a few of the major scenes are perhaps too long but I've decided that this first draft will be written for me. Once it's completed I will go back through it and hopefully tighten up areas. Should I be incredibly fortunate to get a publisher I'm hoping a good editor will also help me through the mine field of cropping and cutting. Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistake - it shall be corrected forthwith on the working copy I have at home. I'm sure there are loads of other grammatical slips too!

Eve: you've picked up on the central mystery of the story - whi if the book is so great is Trevor so desperate to be rid of it...? All will be revealed later. As for Mike telling Trevor the police... at this point he doesn't really believe Trevor is telling the truth about the book or that he is that dangerous; plus up to now Mike believes that Trevor is wanted for questioning over the suspicious death of his carer... this all gets turned on its head later too (I'm currently writing chapter 11).

The Sagitarrian: thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

-eve- said...

Ahhh, i see... thank you for the explanation...:-)

Rol said...

While I agree with Old Cheeser, I think you're right that first drafts are always longer. One of the best pieces of advice I've read about rewriting was 'cut, cut, cut'. You should be prepared to lose 25% or more - the more the better. Particularly these days, I think a lot of readers don't have the patience they once had. Compare today's bestsellers (or even popular literary titles) with the classics and you'll see they're a lot more punchy. It might not mean it's better writing, but it's what the audience demands. Self-editing can be a painful process... but it can also be immensely satisfying.

Still, intriguing stuff, and I hope to read more down the line,

Old Cheeser said...

You're welcome Stevenage - oh yes, grammatical errors can happen quite easily!

PS Is the Beverley Craven cameo happening?

PPS You have just been TAGGED by Donna La Chav!!

Steve said...

Hi Rol, yes I've heard that too but cutting is the hardest thing to do. One of my poetry tutors at Uni always favoured the line "Murder your darlings"... in the long run it's proved to be the best advice anyone has ever given me.

Hi Old Cheeser, I accept the tag and will get onto it ASAP. A bit chocker at work at the mo but I'll see what my creative juices can spew out in a free moment!