Tuesday, February 03, 2009

For those about to die

The lights have been off and the blinds shut for a few months now and I've been a reclusive, obnoxious bastard. But the novel is just about finished.

In a week or so I'll be sending it out into the big wide world and so I thought that, bearing in mind I have no knowledge whatsoever about the publishing world, it might be of interest to someone to see how, or if, it progresses.

For the last 10 years I've written for TV, mostly in serial drama, with an option or two on my own creations. I know a fair share of producers and network execs and agents, and I know from looking at a story before I even begin to write the script that it will come in at X pages plus or minus five.

But this is different. I don't know any publishers. I don't know any book agents. I don't even know if I can write a novel. I mean write a novel as opposed to type 400 pages of drivel. Is 300 pages the second act mid-point reversal? Who the hell knows.

All I can say is that I like how it's turned out. Which, admittedly isn't saying much as I may be slightly biased. But more importantly I liked the process. I even like the fact that I'm a total virgin in what is for me a shiny new arena.

I can tell the kind of stories I want to tell and not have half a dozen bods sticking their oar in at every stage, and that is HIGH COTTON after some of the assholes I and every other TV and film writer who lasts more than a few years have had their fair share of. I might not make any money from the book, but heck, it took me less time to write than the sum total of a couple of years worth of spec scripts that got nowhere, and it did my soul a lot of good.

So here we are. No agent, no contacts. An unknown submitting his first effort. Yeah baby! Let's roll the dice.


David Bishop said...

ED's back! He's alive. Aliiiiiiive!

Best of luck with the novel, can't wait to hear more about it.

Piers said...

Glad to hear you're still about. Good luck with the novel.

Charlie Williams said...

Good for you, ED. And good luck with the submissions. My advice is to try and find an agent first, but YMMV.

Paul Campbell said...

A novel?! All those words! Scary.

Best of luck with it.

Adrian said...

Great to see you back ED. Will the name English Dave be gracing the bookshelves of Waterstones or will your secret identity finally be revealed?

potdoll said...

that was quick! i thought novels took YEARS!

missed yer x

wcdixon said...

ED rears his head! Awesome!

A novel...holy crap! I was impressed with myself just for contructing a few blog posts.

Must go reevaluate my life.

Anonymous said...


Good to have you back. I too have (temporarily maybe) abandoned the world of spec scripts to try and write the great English novel. It's very liberating to be able to actually give characters an inner life right there on the page. It beats hoping that whatever tw*t ends up speed-reading your spec script will pick up on the layers you've tried to display - often in the stage directions which they invariably skim over.

Now I suspect I know even less than you about novel-publishing, so there's one very basic thing I'm confused about. Are you supposed to write the whole damn thing before showing to agents/publishers? Or are you supposed to write the first 3chapters plus synopsis. I'm only about 70 pages in and although I'm enjoying it, the thought of writing another 200 just to get the inevitable one-line rejection letters dismissing the basic idea, is heart-numbing. Any thoughts? PS - I know I should just write the whole damn thing for the good of my soul, and I probably will, but so many of my spec scripts get rejected the premise isn't 'wow', rather than the quality of the writing, which is bearable for 60 pages of Final Draft but less so for 250+ pages of Word.


John Soanes said...

He's alive! Glad you're all right, Dave.

Good luck with the novel - I've been round the book-submitting-circuit before meself, so would be interested to hear what kind of reactions you get...


wcmartell said...

Great to have you back. Please give us details about the alien abduction... did they probe you?

- Bill

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