LIAN TANNER

Fierce competition, ice breakers … and some editing

March 14th, 2015

My cat Harry and I are in fierce competition this weekend to see who can get their blog up first. And I WIN! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Harry is still sorting through his photos, looking for a flattering one. He hasn’t even realised that I’ve beaten him to the computer.

*sighs with satisfaction*

I COULD just rest on my laurels now. After all, I have a headline and a first paragraph. Maybe that’s enough … But no. The headline promised ice breakers and editing, so ice breakers and editing there must be.

The ice breakers first! Grade 5/6S at Kangaroo Valley Public School are reading Ice Breaker as their class novel. They’ve got a cross section of a real icebreaker, and they are colour coding and labeling it according to what they know from the story so far. Their teacher sent me some pics.

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What I find interesting about these (apart from the fact that I LOVE getting drawings, photos etc from my readers) is that this is pretty much what I did when I was writing the novel, to keep track of what was happening on different parts of the ship, and where people were.

Oh, and I understand they are finding the book ‘very intriguing’. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now for the editing. Some people hate editing, but I love it. That’s what I’m doing with Fetcher (The Hidden #3) at the moment, going through the notes that my publisher sent me, and fixing the things that weren’t working. Some of it’s really straightforward, e.g. ‘p.21. Even though they are numb with tiredness, I think they should be a bit more astonished by what happens here.’

*inserts more astonishment*

Other bits are more complicated, and I have to poke at them and tweak and rewrite and then tweak some more, and then because I’ve changed THAT bit, I have to go back and change five other bits as well, so that the story makes sense.

So why do I like it so much? Because I can feel the book coming together, and getting better all the time. And also because I tend to write in layers. My first drafts are always very bare bones, and the people aren’t very convincing. It’s not until later drafts that I start rounding out the characters and making them more like real people. So as well as fixing things that the publisher wants me to fix, I’m playing with the characters and discovering a bit more about who they are, and finding better solutions for some of the problems, and realising that the pigeon, Scroll, from Sunker’s Deep, really should appear in this book (though she’s not there at the moment) and that I know exactly how to use her.

I also like the way the book occupies a certain part of my mind, day and night, so that at some level I’m always thinking about it and working through those problems.

Anything else, before I go and snigger at Harry?

Not really. Apart from the fact that I have just re-started my very early morning walks on the beach. It’s pretty deserted at that time of day – just a few people going about their business. We always stop and chat for a bit …

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0 thoughts on “Fierce competition, ice breakers … and some editing

  1. Laurel Rae says:

    Hi Lian!

    I wanted to wish you a happy birthday! I’m in Washington state and it’s 9:02 pm here, even though I know that it is’t your birthday anymore where you live. ๐Ÿ™‚ All day I kept telling my friends about how great your books are and how much I admire your work. I wouldn’t let them forget that it’s my favorite author’s birthday!\
    Hope you have a wonderful year!

    Best Wishes,
    Laurel Rae

    1. Lian says:

      Wow, Laurel Rae, that’s so nice! Thank you from Tasmania, where it’s now the 19th, two days after my birthday. But I like to have a birthday week rather than just a birthday day, so really you’re bang on time. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been a good year so far, and I hope it continues. One thing I’m really excited about is ‘Icebreaker’ coming out in the US/Canada in August. It’s been a long wait, but it’s getting closer. I very much hope you have a good year too!

  2. Laurel Rae says:

    I already have it pre-ordered; I’m really excited too!

    1. Lian says:

      Ah, I love pre-orders! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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