Monday, 8 November 2010

Crossing bogs

Apart from a blip last week, I’ve been working steadily on a full draft of this latest book and am just embarking on Chapter 5.  This is a tricky phase, with the yawning danger of a sagging middle ever present.  One of Georgette Heyer ‘s heroes, faced with a tricky situation, has a wonderful line about the need to get over rough ground lightly  (of course I can’t remember which book, and if I stop and look it up I’ll never get my book finished ) and I always think of it when I get to the middle three chapters.  I aim to cross by leaping lightly from one tussock to another but am all too prone to landing in the bog instead, where the story wallows around, sinking deeper and deeper into  pointless dialogue or irrelevant situations. 

The first draft that I was feeling so relaxed about turns out (surprise, surprise)  to need major rewriting, but I am going along with the help of some Scottish music to keep me in the mood.  Every book has a soundtrack.  I tend to listen to one CD obsessively while I’m writing the book, and once it’s finished never put it on again.  Now that I’m at one with technology, that’s all changed, though.  iTunes has changed my life, and I can now create a special playlist for each book on my computer.  For this book  I’m listening to a mixture of Runrig (a new discovery)and the soundtrack to Local Hero, plus a recording of Flower of Scotland – schmaltzy, I know, but there’s something about it that always brings a lump to my throat.  Must be my Scottish genes coming out.

Anyway, I’d better get listening … Think of me floundering through the bog towards the quagmire that is Chapter 6!


  1. Nasty saggy middles. One day there'll be some sort of vaccination we can all line up to have ;) Happy writing!

  2. Oh I love Runrig! They got me through 3 Vikings. They are very good on that sort of thing. They are appearing at the Sage in December but they were sold out before I could get tickets. Apparently it is going to be their last tour for awhile.
    And SMS -- half of the cure is recongnising that you have it...

  3. Vaccination ... what a brilliant idea, Lacey. I'm rolling up my sleeve right now!

    Wish I'd known Runrig were going to be up north, Michelle. Too late now, it seems (story of my life)

  4. I have a feeling that she attributes the quote to the Duke of Wellington and that more than one character uses it. The Grand Sophy springs to mind, but I'm sure you're right that one of her male characters is fond of saying it too.

  5. Could be The Grand Sophy, Ros - it's one of my favourites. I've just got in my mind a sentence along the lines of 'He made it a principle to always get over rough ground lightly ...' Now I'm going to have to read through my entire Georgette Heyer collection to find it!