I’m editing tonight. You might think that is a lousy way to spend an evening, and I might agree with you much of the time. But this is the first time I have had the entire manuscript for Giants Dance to read. So while it may be a tad difficult to concentrate on editing precisely, it is wonderful to be able to read the whole thing end to end.
I had the message to say we were done on Friday and it has been a long weekend on tenterhooks waiting for 7am Monday when I was hoping it would hit my inbox… and it did. Of course there are other things to do, like work and housework, promised paintings … all the things that have to be done. But I did manage to read the final two chapters before leaving this morning. And even as one of the authors I was left excited and bouncing… but then, I know where the next book begins.
People have asked how it works, two of us writing together. It isn’t easy to explain… it just does. You may, possibly, have noticed that we spend a lot of time in the field… and on the moors and in churches… not to mention the odd pub, now and then. The main part of the story is reported, often verbatim, from our conversations… though who says what may well be rearranged for the purposes of the story. Yes, our minds really do tread those strange pathways… and yes, we do get a lot of odd looks when we are overheard!
We go where the story leads us, we follow the trail of synchronicity in the wake of the hawks, details repeating, unfolding, revealing themselves as we go. It is a personal journey and a voyage of discovery… and more fun than I can say!. A huge amount of research goes into checking details and ideas, as well as facts, but as the books are written as fictional accounts we do not have to spatter them with footnotes and references. They can be shared as ideas.
Other parts… the poetic extracts, the visionary passages, the meditations, seem to simply arrive and slot in, elucidating and explaining the adjacent text. Sometimes it is difficult to know who wrote what… and I, for one, frequently do a double-take when I realise a passage I barely remember writing is actually mine.
But there are some passages whose originator I know without question. Take Chapter One, for example. It is pretty much evenly shared between Stuart and me yet it holds one of the most powerful, moving things I have ever read. You will excuse me if I lapse into the vernacular and say I was gobsmacked reading it the first time. I sat wide-eyed, damp-cheeked and speechless. Seriously.
I think I’m allowed to say that. I know it is our book… but the credit for that passage is all his… Stuart France. Honestly, no matter how many times I read it, that particular weaving of words takes my breath away. I would share some of it here… but I can’t see how I can ‘cut’ a piece out of it. You need to read the whole passage, you really do. You’ll know it when you read it, believe me.
Right, that’s the coffee break finished. Back to work. Now, where was I? Ah yes…
“Why would Ceridwen do that? I mean, she’s just spent possibly the best part of a year chasing the little blighter, swallowed him whole and now she goes all maternal on him..?”
Giants Dance – Stuart France & Sue Vincent