The novel I’m working on is set over 24 hours, from beginning to end, and I’m currently working my way through the second draft. Whilst editing this week (thanks to some annual leave from the day job), I started thinking more deeply about ‘time’ in writing, more specifically how to slow it down and balance pace for 24+ chapters…
This thought, tied in with a wee bit of procrastination (oops) led me somehow to a newspaper article about the recently absent clocks on one of The Liver building’s towers. Now if you’ve perused my website at all, you’ll know that the novel mentioned above is set in Liverpool and that the Liver Birds are an absolute focal point of the story. I suddenly didn’t feel so bad for mooching the internet instead of actually writing, it all became relative!
Over recent months it has been strange to see the building with only one clock face, particularly at night when the clocks, with their deep orange backgrounds, contribute to the magnificence that are the Three Graces of the waterfront. So, after having read many a different article, text book, quote etc. I began to think to myself, ‘take the clock out, disconnect it.’ By this I don’t mean the pace or the particular era in which it’s set, but the specific mentions of time throughout the story, the thing that appears to be jarring the process at the moment. Don’t worry about making sure the reader knows the specific, trust them, take the pressure away and the editing may just became a tad easier.
Disconnect the clock for now, fix the hands and the mechanics, set the pace right, and when it’s ready to go back in, all will tick along nicely…hopefully, that’ll be evident in draft number three!