Friday, December 21, 2012

Underwood and Flinch, the novel: progress

So, how's it coming along?

Recent months have had the focus of getting not only U&F edited, but also the Hall of Mirrors stories edited and made available for the fundraiser reward perks. There's also been work on U&F 2, which is coming along slowly when I get time. Obviously there's other stuff going on in my life too. My father is very unwell at the moment and I've been away from my desk at times to help out with family matters.

But the final novel is coming on gradually.

For U&F (1) I've been mostly matching the audio of the podcast to the original manuscript of the written novel. The reason for this is, when reading / performing the text, I often deviated wildly from the manuscript. As I read my dialogue, I often ad-lib changes, because when you inhabit a character and perform him, you become him; his words come from not from the pen of the writer, but from the heart of the character himself. I also wrote many revisions to the narrative, and because I was writing "for podcast" and not for publication, a lot of these revisions were on scraps of paper, in notebooks or just random docs or txt pages on the computer. Once the podcast recording stage was done, I became so focused on editing the audio (and again, making re-writes and multiple re-takes of the audio) most of the changes to the original text simply got mislaid or inadvertently deleted. At one stage I had a file on my computer that was so big with all the .wav files in it, I had to junk it just so as I could get the computer to run smoothly again. In doing so, I unwittingly threw out the entire text of the episode I'd just finished (not so much a face-palm moment as a head-wall-repeatedly moment). So I then had to wholly transcribe the text from the audio back onto paper. Arg!

So, as I say, much of what I'm doing now is audio-text matching, but I'm also re-writing and editing too. Cutting, re-writing, re-punctuating (with the audio manuscripts, I use a lot of semicolons as signals to myself to pause in the delivery, but to the reader, these curly-dot fests look like ant ant farm exploded over the page, so I'm removing a lot of those). But there are also re-inclusions. Some bits of the original text were cut from the audio version. On revising the work, I find that, having written these scenes, I'd always taken them for granted as facts of the U&F world, I remember them as facts and think you know them too, but of course, you don't. So on learning I'd cut them, I'm now jiggling things around so I can put them back in again.

So far, about 85% of the novel has been audio-matched and re-edited. When this process finishes, my wife will read my revised version and flag all the mistakes and typos in it, and let me know if all this editing has made it tighter, or less so. I'll re-write accordingly, making the necessary changes and getting to what will hopefully be a first final draft. Then I'll seek volunteer test readers to read through it for mistakes and typos that we've missed (always happens, just always, you can never see all the mistakes, you get text-blindness). And then, when that's all done. I'll set about getting the Amazon Createspace people to help turn it into a book - or books, yes, it may end up being two volumes, not just one (and if you're one of the U&F fundraisers expecting a copy of the novel, don't worry, if it becomes two volumes, you'll get both).

And then, once the fundraisers have got their copies, it'll be released to world.

And then, I'll be able to turn all my attention to U&F 2. And this time, I'll write it not as a podcast, but as a novel. No microphones, no .wav files, no podcast, just text. When that's done, we'll see about an audio version. I'm sure there'll be changes to the text as a result of the audio recordings, but now I know from experience how to handle them. I hope. (Head-wall-repeatedly).


  1. As one of the first people to comment, I hope this doesn't sound corny - but I firmly believe that family should always come first at any time, and as such, my thoughts, as much as they can help, are with you at this difficult time.

  2. You have a lot of work ahead of you. Have a great Christmas and New Year's break first!

  3. Sorry to hear your father is unwell, hope despite everything you have had a nice Christmas and all the best for next year. Sounds like a busy one - what with releasing the books, writing U+F 2 and replastering the wall in your study to remove the head-dents! (May I recommend a padded cell - works wonders when I am have to re-write bits of my thesis, and causes fewer headaches.....)

  4. I too am sorry to hear of your father's health. I understand all to well of helping the caregiver/mom as I do with my own father. I am truly amazed how you have any life at all outside of your writing/podcasting! I am very thankful for everything your have done!
    Thank You and God Bless.


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