Tuesday, April 29, 2008

warm drafts

Well, 'tis done, but don't tell my editor. i've finished the first draft of Witch Baby and Me Mk2. at this stage, I have no idea whatsoever if it's a pile of dung or a nifty little book. I'm too close to it to tell. That's why I need a few weeks of editorial grace to achieve the requisite distance from it, in order to be able to come back to it with a reasonably savage red pen and do some of my editor's slash and burning myself.

Such a good feeling, though. That little pile of pages, all of them covered in raw story. Also heard that there are contracts out there in the ether for more picture books - blank contracts, ye gods, so that makes me feel pretty good. although i seem to have some kind of Scottish streak, not a Calvinist streak because I don't think I'm that kind of a gal, but mean? thrifty? Ahhh, there's the word, thrifty - right, a thrifty streak which makes me feel distinctly uneasy at being paid before I do any work. I'd rather have the texts written before I sign the contracts.However, that hasn't really been the case too often of late - with the exception of The Trouble With Dragons, everything else has been the subject of a multibook contract waaaay in advance of being fully written.

Which is all fine and dandy if the book under contract behaves itself and the writing isn't too hideously difficult, but if it all starts going pear-shaped, then the multibook deal begins to feel like a millstone. and hey, if the writer takes absolutely years to honour her side of the deal, the advance begins to look niggardly because inflation has snuck up on it and rendered it worthless.

I mean, when I signed the contracts for 4 Witch babies, diesel was only 93p a litre. Only! bloody hell, we're fast approaching the time when it would be cheaper to tip single-estate, virgin, hand-pressed, unfiltered organic olive oil into our tanks. Some more unleaded on your raddichio, pet?


Eamon said...

'right, a thrifty streak which makes me feel distinctly uneasy at being paid before I do any work' - Don't think that is being thrifty. Think that is being cautious ..

thereyougothen said...

ah, the trouble with dragons was on your bag you had at knitting tonight, wasn't that it? can i have a closer look look next time i see you?

finished a book? i take it that's a much bigger feeling than finishing a pullover?

it was nice to meet you in person tonight. i've PM'd you on Ravelry, by the way.