Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Wittering

You have to laugh – my old nursing pal Vanessa rang up last night; she wanted to make sure I was still here before she sent her card. I wouldn’t mind but she’s older than I am. God forbid that a card should be wasted 

The young physio said he was pleased with the slow but steady progress – that‘s the way it should go apparently and I’m happy to take his word for it. I see him again in ten days time and I am amazed at such excellent treatment. I have been neglecting various chores in the house and garden and it will be good to get things ship shape again. # 2 son and missus are coming for the week-end which will be lovely and an early Christmas treat. We had an enormous parcel from Australia yesterday but MTL
says I mustn’t open it till Christmas Day.

Apparently one can now have free calls very evening and also at the week-end provided one promised to stay with BT for a year- no problem for us as we had no intention of leaving. Last night another old friend phoned in answer to my Christmas card and we chatted for almost an hour. It was pleasant and very helpful as she has been a published writer for years.

I have always tried not to bend the ear of professional friends but she clearly wanted to talk about my book and discussed lots of options, but more importantly urged me to get on and finish it and find the right publisher. She wasn’t overly enthusiastic about getting an agent – she has had about four over the years but lots of publishers won’t look at anything that doesn’t come from an agent.

She also voiced something I have been considering – that of starting at a key place and going back to the beginning. Early chapters in an autobiog aren’t usually the most engaging and they are the ones the agent asks to read.
My intention is to do nothing but the book over the Christmas holiday so I’ll be quiet but still here.


scarlet-blue said...

She also voiced something I have been considering – that of starting at a key place and going back to the beginning

I am on a writing course and I read only yesterday that this is often a good way of keeping a focus. Many writers do this.

Vanessa made be laugh, but at least you got to chat!


Kim Ayres said...

Open the book halfway through a conversation. Everyone is then desperate to know what it's about :)

PI said...

Scarlet: it also means I have to really use what brain cells I have left, which convinces me that it has to be my main focus for a while.

Kim: that's another idea to chew over. Thank you:)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, what people won't do to save a stamp! LOL! It is fun to hear from old friends though, isn't it?

The dilemma of an Agent or NOT an Agent...Oh Dear. Here, they say that Publishers won't consider anything that isn't submitted by an Agent...THAT makes it quite difficult. So I found your friends advice interesting.

I know the feeling, my dear, of needing to put all your concntration into this one important project. Sail On, dear Pat, Sail On...!

Kevin Musgrove said...

Many detective story writers and lots of comedy scriptwriters start at the end and work backwards. They know where they're going but they've no idea how they're getting there until they've traced back the journey. Also means that the writer's not worrying about how to start the story: when they've traced back to something that looks like an interesting start they stop.

Good luck!

Eryl Shields said...

That's interesting, to start somewhere other than the beginning. Now I think of it some of my favourite books, and films, do do that. I guess you now have to think about what is the most significant, or most engaging, part of your story and take it from there. This is probably where the real fun is to be had.

PI said...

Kevin: welcome! That has really got my brain whirling. Thanks - I think;)

Naomi: and so many decisions to make. Still I've been faffing around long enough. Time to get down to it.

Eryl: it's been in my mind for a while and my friend just crystallised the thought. BTW you have me reading books you suggest - for which I'm grateful - here's one for you. 'Out of a Clear Sky ' by Sally Hinchcliffe - it's a cracker and she is a very nice person incidentally

R. Sherman said...

Frankly, dear, I got hooked on the WWII stuff and stayed for the rest.

Suffice it to say, I'm glad I did. You have a fascinating life and I for one will stand in line for a autographed copy when it's published.


Kim Williams said...

i'm just following up on some older comments over at my place and find you. thanks for the visit.

it is nice to find you. i'm going to read some here. nice place.

kenju said...

Hmmmm....that's an interesting point of view. I often find that (starting in the middle) distracting, when I read a bio.

lom said...

Sorry I did laugh at the thought of your friend ringing to ask if you were still around before she sent the card.

PI said...

Randall: I'd hate to think I might have lost you by starting elsewhere. Finding the right hook that will reel everybody in 'aint gonna be easy. But then nobody said it was:)

Kim Williams: hi - you're very welcome and I hope you come often:)

Judy: did I ever tell you I'm Pisces and find decisions a tad difficult. I can feel my brow furrowing with the effort already:)

LOM: Vanessa has always been a card; it was she who wanted black and yellow striped bridesmaids dresses and then couldn't make it so I'm used to forgiving her - she's worth it.

Kim Ayres said...

There's a lot of potential fun to be had in not sticking to a chronological narrative.

2 films spring to mind:
Pulp Fiction, which leaps about with the time frame as it follows different subplots and ultimately the final scene overlaps with the very first.

The other is Momento, which has every scene set immediately before the first previous one, thereby effectively running backwards. It's not until the end of the movie, do you find out what happened at the beginning and so set the whole chain of events you've just seen into action.

Something to toy with anyway :)

Eryl Shields said...

Thanks for that, I'll go look on Amazon right now. X

Kanani said...

Open the book where something is happening. An event that reveals who you are, and lets the readers know a bit about your character and induces them to care enough to read the rest!

PI said...

Kim: are you trying to give me a nervous breakdown? That may be your idea of fun -it's a nightmare to me and my simple mind. Seriously I think to select a key moment in time to open, is about as far as I really want to go.

Eryl: let me know - eventually - what you think

Kanani: thank you. Excellent advice - the caring is the thing:)

Nea said...

I'm right behind Randell waiting for my signed copy.

PI said...

Nea: in my dreams...