I have, this very morning, with due fanfare and fly by of the Red Arrows etc., completed the first draft of the new tvdetective book.
The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed I haven't mentioned a title - there is a working version, but I'm not sure it's going to be the final one yet, so shhhh for now is the way. And no more detail about what's in it either, I'm trying to be suitably author like and mysterious!
Now, as I was saying, the final full stop on the page leaves me feeling elated in one way, and sad in another. See previous blogs for my tendency to melodrama at the finishing of a book...
Anyhow, the point of this little musing is that for a writer it's rarely the end. The finishing of the first draft is merely the start of work on the second, and when that's done the third, and so on until the publisher loses patience and insists on releasing the thing.
Some clever person one said that writing is rewriting, and I think that's very true. It's a smart way of pointing out one of life's broader lessons - that annoying though it may be, there's no substitute for hard work.
John Cleese was once asked why Fawlty Towers was so good. You must be a genius, the interviewer said. No he replied, we just had a good idea and worked at it, and worked at it, and worked at it until it was as good as it could possibly be.
That's a little story I often mention when I'm doing writing workshops, to emphasise the importance of polishing your efforts. The tvdetective books usually take about 6 or 7 rewrites before they're in a passably fit state to publish. I know other writers who do even more.
So, as the old saying goes, not an end but a beginning... and next week I shall commence work on the first rewrite!
A final word for this blog, and it's to thank the ladies of the Devon WI for making me so welcome at my little talk in Torquay on Wednesday. I must confess to being remiss and not asking the size of the audience before I came along. I was expecting a hundred or so.
Thus it was a silence inducing moment - rare in the Hall world - to arrive and be told the number was 1400.
But you were all very lovely - thank you - and even better you laughed at the points in my little ramble when I hoped you would. The WI is a wonderful institution in my humble view, and long may you thrive.
Don't forget, if you've got a question about the tvdetective books, or any area of my writing, or are interested in my input to an event, you can get in touch via the contact page of the site - www.thetvdetective.com/contact.html