In keeping with the advice given by many successful writers, I have become a firm believer in leaving a piece of writing to one side. Stephen King is one such writer who suggests this idea in his book ‘On Writing’.
The idea, short story, chapter or entire first draft can be left in a drawer, tray or on file on a computer, but the important thing is that it is left alone. You the writer, will come back to the piece at some stage down the line and see it differently. It may be days, weeks or even months, but having already experimented with this theory – I know it works for me.
I have now reached a point where a short story is not released for public consumption until I have written at least three drafts – spread out with a week between each. Does that sound like a chore? Perhaps it is, but what if you manage to have at least three or more ideas on the go at any one time, as I constantly seem to do? That is where I believe it works.
Apart from short stories, I have my thriller ‘Hawk – A Manhunter’ patiently waiting for my return. I have reached the end of a second draft with it and haven’t revisited the manuscript for weeks now. I have taken the precaution of writing passages in a notebook when ideas come to mind so I have fresh new scenes to include in the next draft.
My new venture is ‘Discovering Amsterdam’ which was born from a suggestion by my very good friend and fellow writer Carmen. Yes, the same person who is acknowledged in the cover of my first novel, ‘10 Days in Panama’.
‘Discovering Amsterdam’ will be a romantic novel which looks at the relationship between Dan, a British writer/journalist and Crystal, an American Fashion Designer. The plot will see them meet in Amsterdam, having been in touch by email for over a year. Crystal is eager to trace her European ancestry and Dan is her sidekick in the quest.
During the project they will visit many of the wonderful museums found in Amsterdam and through their eyes so will the reader. Well, that’s the theory anyway. I have a basic knowledge of Amsterdam and it’s main museums but I will be double-checking any factual information with more than one source – plus another visit.
Thank you for reading – and a special thank you to anyone who managed to follow both Part 1 and Part 2 of this session.