Saturday, 9 January 2010

Snowy days and first pages

These poor sheep remind me that somewhere there's always someone worse off than me!
The snow goes on - another four
inches in the early hours, which makes our decision not to drive a hundred miles to a friend's party a sensible one.
I really have no excuse not to write during these snowy days, but I find I'm nervous about re-doing the first page of the current wip. Originally I began with a conversation. Some of the crit group thought there was too much info in it and suggested I began with a quieter sequence which introduced my protagonist. I liked both beginnings, but could see that one was too busy, and the other too quiet. Now I think that if I could somehow merge them both, I'd be on to a winner.
But can I do it? Successfully, that is.
Thank the lord for computers. I can play with the words to my heart's content, and still revert to the the originals if I so choose. Imagine doing this in the days of handwritten or typewritten versions. Shudders run down my spine at the thought. Worse still, imagine doing it with a quill pen and home made ink.


Caroline Storer said...

Hi Jen. The sheep look fed up don't they?

As a newbie to the writing game I don't know how I would have coped with a humble typewriter! I mean the inventor of "cut and paste" deserves a Nobel Prize IMHO! Take care. Caroline x

Anne Gilbert said...


I dunno. At least the sheep have fur coats(or should I say wool coats?).

And -- this is for Caroline: I *did* cope -- not very well -- with typewriters. But you have no idea how glad I am that computers exist these days.

Jen Black said...

Yes, Anne, sheep have wool, not fur. Since they can't get down to the grass without sticking their muzzles into freezing snow, I think they have every right to be dejected.
And how about typewriters before snopak existed? Even worse!

Carolin said...

Have to giggle - you people in England seem to have more snow, but it looks similar here in KY right now. Snow and temps in the minus 10-20C range - brrr! Our horses are living outside completely, though they do have run-in sheds, automatic (heated) waterers and - most important! - round bales of hay. I wonder if those sheep are similarly provisioned. Our horses also get grained, so they enjoy the weather. I found over the years that they are much more miserable in the hot summers here with flies and such than in winter - they grow fuzzy coats and are quite happy.

As regards typewriters: I still wrote my M.A. thesis on one (all 99 pages of it in its final version in one long night - talk about procrastination). But I'm like you all - couldn't live without my computers now :-)

And beginnings: that's where computers come in so handy. You can cut, paste, move, save, whatever. Tell that to my students all the time. Say what you will, technology has it advantages....

A propos beginnings - I don't worry about them anymore while I'm in the process of writing a first draft. Finish the whole draft, THEN go back and fix the beginning, is my motto. Else I'm never going to get anywhere....

Jen Black said...

Well, for once this snow was the powder variety instead of the sloshy wet variety we usually get. That was because the temperatures were so low, below zero for such a long time. Pluses and minuses - it doesn't make good snowballs, for instance, but it makes it much pleasanter to be out in it. It's the damp that is so horrid here.