St. Pauls’ Cathedral, with a toothbrush.


D told me that the author George R. R. Martin said in a recent interview that writing a novel was like “cleaning St. Paul’s cathedral with a toothbrush!” I think I know how he feels.

It’s 7:30 on a Saturday morning and I’ve just finished the third draft of my novel, a project that’s been in gestation for 15 years. It’s true that I’d done nothing on it for about 10 years until last year, but I have been working on it almost every day for the last ten months. “Hurray,” I hear you cry, but no. I still have lots to do. This rewrite has raised it from being sh*te to being ‘not bad’. There’s a lot of work needed to raise it to being sufficiently good that someone will read it cover-to-cover.

It’s time for a break of a couple of weeks, but then draft four begins. At least this time the changes will be more like keyhole surgery than wholesale slaughter.

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