So ... why does everybody nowadays start their sentences with 'So'? I haven't a clue. I'm afraid I have taken to jumping in with: 'a needle pulling thread' every time they do, though. I find it irritates them a lot, and as I head slowly and inexorably towards the tunnel at the end of the light, irritating people is becoming a bit of a lifestyle choice.
But back to the Victorian novel. You remember the Victorian novel? The one my agent said had waayy too many plots and characters to make it worth sending out. (Did Dickens' agent ever admonish him for having a plot'n'character surfeit? I think not.)
Anyway while you, gentle blog reader had forgotten all about the Victorian novel, it has been quietly festering away on a back burner, to mix metaphors. Two minor plots were summarily removed, even though it meant shedding some amusing sub-characters that I thought were rather well-written, but hey, what do I know, I'm just the author.
And there has been some serious editorial BDSM. Paragraphs have been whipped into shape. Ruthless control and domination has been exerted. Cutting and slashing has been the order of the day, all culminating in eleven thousand words lying gasping and panting on the Red Pen Floor of Pain, or wherever words go when you press the delete key.
At one point, I did begin to wonder whether I was on the cusp of invent a brand new literary genre: The Postit novel - for readers with absolutely no interest in reading.
And then, just when I was congratulating myself on some fine, if drastic reduction, it happened: a whole new sub-plot suddenly emerged. Honestly guv, never saw it coming; would I lie to you?
It was like that record of Sparky's Magic Piano, if anyone remembers it. (For those who don't: there was this boy called Sparky who had a magic piano that played itself, but everyone thought it was him. Eventually, the piano took over completely, and it all went horribly pear-shaped.)
So (used correctly) this is where we are at: I'm trying to cut things out, but at every turn new plots are springing up all over the place and fresh characters are creeping out of the undergrowth and for whatever reason, I seem utterly powerless to stop it happening. The more I edit, the more the text sprouts new bits, like some literary Hydra.
Please could someone out there call the Plot Police - my novel is committing crimes against narrative!
Next blog: Another fine guest will be joining me to talk about their life and writing. Stay reading.