Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Summer 1

I've been back in my office for only a few days, and already I'm counting down the days to when I can take a holiday, or at the very least a break from work. It doesn't help that today is sunny, and is only the second day of nice weather in my region this summer, and all I can think about is meandering around not doing much other than walking in the sunshine. Somehow I'm still getting work done, but I'm resenting having to do it. Although the last few weeks doing this work for the Graduate School has been interesting and it has been a break from my regular work (and, kind of importantly, I'm getting paid for it) it hasn't been a holiday and I think that's what my mind and body are telling me I sorely need to preserve my sanity.

I don't have a definite plan yet, but I'm checking with a friend on one possibility for a few weeks time (I'm working for the next three weeks, and then taking two weeks off), and if that plays out as I am hoping it will then there should be some interesting things that I can do on the blog as a result. I won't say any more on that for now, I'll just leave it there and hope that when you come to read this there seems to be an air of mystery and coolness about it...

Recently I've thought a lot about my novel that I wrote last year, especially about revisions that need to be made. There was so much that I liked about what I wrote during National Novel Writing Month but at the same time there is so much that needs to be changed in order for it to be a better story. It's not like I'm now planning to kill any characters off that previously lived or anything like that, but there are tweaks that need to be made; whereas one character before was only incidentally responsible for breaking two people up, I think that really she needs to take a more active role in the break-up - but that changes her character, because before she was the kind of person who would never do that. I guess I'm having a hard time persuading myself to make changes to the text because at the moment I'm still too close to the characters that I first hammered out last year, and by making these changes they cease to be the people that I created (in the same way, we often find that we are less close to people when their personality changes over time).

I've also been immersing myself in noir recently, across quite a few subgenres. I've read some Mickey Spillane who I guess is a definitive voice in classic noir, some future noir from Richard Morgan which was very different but definitely in the same tradition, and also some vampire noir by Charlie Huston (his first Joe Pitt novel, Already Dead, is a particularly good novel I think). Although I had considered reading some classics over the summer I've decided to read some more noir first (thank you Amazon.co.uk!), and maybe come back to the classics in the autumn. There's a slight incongruity of reading noir in the summer that is appealing at the moment.

Better keep my fingers crossed that summer actually arrives in time for my break then...

1 comment:

noisms said...

You should read some Dashiel Hammatt (or something like that). My sister recommends him, and when it comes to noir and crime fiction, Liz is God.