Some people say you shouldn’t read while you’re writing a novel, in case you’re influenced by the writer, but reading is like breathing to me. Shame, the book I’ve been reading last week almost put me off writing altogether. It wasn’t that the story was bad, it wasn’t. It was original and pacey, and much of the imagery was beautiful, but oh, did it fall down on presentation. Obviously unedited for typos and grammar errors, and absolutely full of wandering tenses, going from past to present in the same paragraph, even in the same sentence. This by an author teaching English and creative writing at university level and published by a reputable press. I think there must be something wrong with me if this kind of work is acceptable because it just ruined a good book for me. At the end I had to ask myself, ‘what am I writing for?’ if this is the accepted standard.
However, that was last week and this is this week. Now reading ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett. So far, I’m enjoying it, but only just started. Anyway, I’m pretty optimistic about last week’s production, nearly finished another chapter of the novel;not a huge amount in actual words, around 3000, but at least it’s forward movement. Actually got around to doing something about booking a research trip for the setting, so pinning my hopes on doing major writing once I get there later in September. Also fleshed out around half of the next chapter in my history of Skelmersdale, up to the end of 1962 now and it’s coming together well.
Going on a self-publishing course tomorrow, mainly out of curiosity. I am actually ‘publication officer’ for our writers’ group, as we have our own press for producing anthologies, so I’m hoping to learn something useful. Let you know next week how I got on.