errata

Have I told you this before? About an hour after I first published Driftways, I realised an entire story was missing from the finished product. I tried hastily to find it, but strangely it had disappeared from all my draft copies also. There were not even the bare bones remaining in my very first draft file. I suspect the fact it was the only story with a clearly unhappy ending may have had something to do with this. Either my own subconsciousness or the spirit of the book itself had protected the collection from that bitterness.

Luckily, I'd only distributed one copy at that stage, and I threw myself upon the mercy of the person. He was entirely sweet about it, thankfully. I felt anxious afterwards though, and it was several days until I stopped double-checking everything. (Even so, I still managed to miss a typing error which I saw only weeks later.)

Yes, there is also an error in the first chapter of Deep in the Far Away. It's thankfully a great deal smaller than ten pages missing entirely, but it is there and mortifying (and ironically a consequence of over-editing). I am blessed by the graciousness of my readers, who have so far not pointed it out to me. And blessed indeed by the power of "coincidence", which allowed me to discover it, albeit far too late.

I am learning that writing a serialised novel draws me into a looser creative space than I have been before. I thought I would need to be extra-controlled, but infact that's just not possible - inventive is what I have to be, and willing to go suddenly, half-blind, in unexpected directions. I am learning too perhaps the best lesson of all for me as a woman, a writer, and indeed a mother - to not look back in regret. I may be the author, but within the words I lay down the story is creating itself, shifting, dancing, insisting on some points, edging away from others. And once it is written, it becomes itself in ways I have no influence upon. I am learning to let the story have its life for its own.

6 comments:

  1. Your approach to writing this novel is very interesting. I love the idea that the story is naturally evolving and creating itself....I'm completely drawn in by your beautiful descriptions of their cabin. It's so close to the way I feel and live in my own cabin in the woods.

    I can hardly wait for the next installment.

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    1. Thank you for such lovely encouragement :-)

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  2. I enjoyed the first chapter immensely, and never noticed any kind of error. I did not have my editors brain working because it was just a great story. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

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  3. I didn't notice the error and if I did, it probably wouldn't have affect the reading process. I rarely see the errors I make, so I think it's because we sometimes are too familiar with what we wrote that when we edit, sometimes we miss things, it seems only natural. I'm the same as you, I don't like seeing the error and always immediately want to correct it but again, it shouldn't deter us from continuing.

    I do love your writing style - it feels like you're telling fairytales - that's how I sometimes view your writing - fairytale-like, wistful and full of wonders. to be honest, I did not think the chapters for 'deep and far way' would be so long but I do not might the length.

    hope you are enjoying your day.

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    1. Thank you for that. I was worried people would find it too long; for the sake of the novel's overall length (a standard 80,000 words, approximately) I need each chapter to be between 6,000 and 7,000 words. I am still exploring (okay, learning) the double structure of chapter and overall story. I feel each chapter needs to stand more or less on its own as a piece of story-telling, and yet it must add to the whole, match it in tone and pace, and build momentum. Tricky!

      If people would like me to make the chapters shorter, please do let me know.

      I'm so glad it feels fairytale like, that is what I was wishing for. You've made me so very happy with your lovely remarks. <3

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