I realise I’ve been quiet for the last little while, but there’s a very good reason for that: I’ve started editing Ghost Tracks.

I don’t really enjoy editing, if I’m honest. I enjoy the creation of a novel, the red-hot rush of words and scenes that are involved in discovering the story for the first time. Because of the way I write, I often discover things only shortly before the characters do, and it’s that thrill, that sense of creating something new, and clever, and surprising, that I live for. Reordering words already written, poring over a story already told, well, that’s just drudgery.

I discovered long ago that, after a very short while, the words I’m editing begin to disappear into a white haze. I also find it impossible to edit on-screen: paradoxically, quite apart from what all of my more technologically minded pals tell me, I find it less flexible than being able to shift between printed pages. My best routine is to print out the manuscript, staple it into 5-page sections, and tackle one section at a time. Once I’ve finished 5 pages, I need to take a break, divorce myself from the tedium of long, black and white lines, and come back to it later. Once I’ve marked up the entire manuscript, I then input it all, print it out again, and start all over again. (Sorry, rainforests)

Is it slow? I’ve published three novels in 17 years. What do you reckon? Still, it’s what works.

Things have been complicated, this time out, by my well-documented-on-this-blog struggles with my previous job and depression. But we’re under way. So far, I’ve tucked away the first run of 50 pages of the 200 page manuscript, so hopefully I’ll be looking for beta readers some time in late August or early September.

So, while I may not be chocking up this page with memes and pointless falderal as I tend to do when everything else is at a standstill, but I will be working.

And that’s what we all really want, right?




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