Starting Chapter Four…


It’s been fifty-three days since I started writing Boneditch and I’m now 25,982 words, 82 pages and three chapters through the woods…

So the panic has set in that it’s complete and utter nonsense and not even finished yet, for that matter, so I guess that makes it just partial nonsense, like a bad joke that trails off into the ether at a party or a really nasty sm…

The point of the book is that it’s something I can get a first draft done in less than a year, so hopefully I can get a semi-decent second draft done by the end of the year. So according to my master plan it should be short and rubbish just now… write drunk – edit sober, as Hemingway said, but it feels a little foolish to be putting so much faith in my September Self: who knows what I’m going to be like on the Other Side Of Summer?

Anyway, I’m just starting Chapter Four.

We’ve met my hero, Eliot Rent, a young woman who is having an affair with her best friend’s boyfriend and just suffered a tragedy. Now Eliot has met Ketaki Eleison, who claims to work for an organisation who had dealings with her parents, and who has made Eliot an offer that sounds too good to be true.

We’ve also gotten to know Ketaki a little better – she’s older than Eliot and had to fight through several battles that no one else seemed to notice – and now she seems supremely competent and only morally compromised if you believe in objective rules of right and wrong.

That’s the first two chapters, and they kind of make sense together… but then Chapter Three was a diversion to tell three short nasty stories that I wrote last year. I like them, and they keep things unsettled and in motion, but I think they’ve stymied up the pace a little… I think I need to move Three Bastards to Chapter Four and make How To Live Happily And With Security For The Rest Of Your Very Long Life Chapter Three instead.

The goal is for Boneditch to feel like a mad scrapbook that cobbles together strange and unpredictable short stories that can stand alone and be read in gobbety mouthfuls, or be arranged together into a longer story with an actual beginning, middle and end. So I need something to happen to the plot every page, with enough jokes to help keep it moving and without being hobbled by my usual overly introspective ploddingocity, but with enough continuity so that it doesn’t feel that you’re starting again every twenty pages.

More Plot. And Quicker.

Yes. That’s the challenge. Right, back to it.

After pancakes. The boys are hungry and there’s an assault course of Lego and Batman toys between me and the door.




    • You’re right, I really need to. I’m a sucker for that episodic scattergun narrative – I want this one to have a “Tales of the City” meets “Tales from the Crypt” vibe: new characters every few pages, self-contained adventures but a sense of its own identity throughout… but more fun than my usual stuff… Thank you for reading…


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