Monday, 24 August 2009

Nervous... Forties?

The well-known cricketing cliché goes that once a player gets into his nineties, he'll be a nervous wreck until he finally steers his innings to the hundred. 'How often,' a commentator will bark across the airwaves, 'have we seen it; a batsman having a fine innings until he hits 90, only to then start making streaky shots and for his run-rate to slow before giving his wicket away?'

Well, I'm not a cricketer of note (not the last time I checked at any rate), and it's not the nineties I'm in, but the book has finally gone past 45 pages and is now closing on the half-century, thanks to a long session this morning, where I added 1,000 words to Chapter Five. With just a short scene in the chapter to go, I've reached the bottom of page 49, and all being well, I've finally cracked the chapter.

It's a relief, to say the least. After a summer of struggling for writing form as badly as Ravi Bopara has struggled with the bat for England, I sat down with half a scene this morning to steer it in the direction I wanted to after a couple of aborted attempts to do so. It was worth the effort. Completing the Council scene gives me a platform for the short scene that follows, and I've also got the toughest scene I've yet written out of the way.

So what if the whole scene came in just short of 2,500 words? It was by no means easy, introducing new characters and having the first scene I've written in some time where more than two characters are in conversation, especially as it had various undercurrents and motives throughout. I should be able to build on this over the next couple of weeks to get another chapter or two under my belt.

Hopefully, I'll be able to push on to the ton as well.