Monday 24 September 2012

Book Two and Brick Walls

I know I've been a rubbish blogger the last month or so.

I am currently squashed under my insecurities about Book 2, also known as The Date Pool. I read on the internet that the second book (ie the book after you get your publication contract) is the hardest one to write and I would have to agree with that. I'm not sure why - maybe it's the worry that this time it matters whether I deliver or not - but I just know I'm capable of better than some of the dross that seems to be appearing on the page.

Chapters 1-3 have been revised and thankfully at least they seem to be working. Chapters 4-6 are currently pants. Fortunately I received an email from my lovely new editor on Friday full of encouragement (which is great because I'm now wondering if they will be regretting their decision to give me a contract) and fantastic suggestions, some of them specific (areas that are too dialogue-heavy) and some of them general (scene ideas that I can play around with). As always I wish I'd thought of all of them myself.

Anyhow...This week I will be sitting in the revision cave, also known as my kitchen, hunched over and working through the revision points one by one in the hope that at the end of the process I will also have serviceable Chapters 4-6. On the bright side the small one has started full-time school so at least I have plenty of time on my hands to angst over the story, and when I look back over my blog I can see that I was feeling pretty much the same way at the same point when I was writing Secrets of the Rich & Famous. Bit of a double-edged sword because I know I came out the other side with a good ms last time, but on the other hand I now fear that the pants-middle-bit and the feverish rewriting of it may be part of my process (please, no!).

Back with a progress report soon x


  1. Hurrah for schools, I find myself dramatically storming out of the room on Sunday, netbook held aloft, declaiming that I Must Have Peace In Which To Write; less than 2 mins later the 8yo crept in to the bedroom to ask me a question...
    Good luck with the middle chapters, fingers crossed they don't need too many frantic rewrites.

    1. School is a bit of a godsend I have to say. At least when I'm wringing my hands in angst now I don't have the small one hanging off me!

  2. Hi Charlotte!

    I am so very afraid of feeling that same way if I ever get a contract. I think sometimes it's hard for unpublished writers to remember that, once you're published, you still have to write ANOTHER BOOK...ah!
    That said, I have no doubt you'll pull through and be amazing. :) Just keep the pages coming and keep in mind that you can always edit a bad page, but not an empty one.
    Can't wait to read both books!

  3. Thanks Amy! I think you are right, just need to keep trudging through. Loads of luck with SYTYCW! X

  4. Good luck, Charlotte!! I know EXACTLY what you mean about the anxiety though! I'm sure it'll be great :-)

  5. Thanks so much, Victoria, so glad it isn't just me! Apparently there's even a name for it - second book syndrome - maybe there's a blog post in there if I manage to survive it!
    Thanks for stopping by :0)

  6. Charlotte, we're in the same place. Damn book #2! I just spoke with my (new) editor on Friday about it, and she said that indeed, authors struggle with book 2, and many writers stop after 1.

    But that won't be us! It helped me to hear that this struggle is purely psychological. There's nothing magical about it, and you can do it! Good luck! xx

  7. Thanks so much, Natalie, you can't imagine how much better that makes me feel! Loads of luck to you too, we can do it! Xx

  8. Best wishes, Charlotte. You did once and you can do it again!

  9. Charlotte
    look on the angst as pre-performance nerves...if you don't have it then your work will be mediocre. The more angst you have the more powerful the work you produce.

    An actor without pre-performance nerves is one who is going to give a mediocre performance.

    A writer without angst is a wrter who loses her reader. So don't fear it, embrace it.