I have finally handed in the first edits of my new novel The Double Shadow to my publisher. Perhaps the best way to describe The Double Shadow is as a family sci-fi saga... ? It's always rather nerve-wracking waiting to find out what your editor thinks about your manuscript edits. What more will she feel should be taken out, what more enhanced?
I think finally I’m growing in confidence enough to know the shape of the novel that I am trying to create. Consequently I am a little less terrified of the lead pencil comments that come plastered in my editor’s tiny handwriting all over the first draft. It would be great if manuscripts were edited on computer so that comments were more decipherable. In the future perhaps they will be.
It was when I worked in theatre as a set designer that I became aware that it’s always good to keep several tricks up your sleeve. So when the audience thinks they’ve seen all there is to offer, you hit them with a big surprise. It is a lesson that I learned visually and now I'm putting it into practice as a writer. I think the main thing when you work with a character or characters is not be frightened to let them rule you. I do believe if you try to control them, you end up with cardboard heroes and villains, when what you really need is the foibles of humanity.