I’ve read very little fiction this year. That is I had until about a week ago when, in a sore need of a break from editing, I sat down to watch old Sherlock Holmes movies from the 40s starring Basil Rathbone. What’s that got to do with reading? Well, I then – because I’m a massive Holmes fan – had to read pull my beautiful compendium of Holmes stories off the shelf and spend a week sampling its riches.
Incidentally, I found a very similar faux-leather-and-gilt-edged-pages tome when I popped into the bookstore on Friday. I’m tempted to buy it just because my one’s getting a little worn from constant use… but I digress. The trip to the bookstore was to look for two specific books. I came out with five! And, as I write this blog post on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I’ve already read two of them. Two and a half to be exact.
This is what happens. I have a lean few months on the reading front and then I go a bit crazy either at the library or at the bookstore. Not helped by the fact I’m a reasonably fast reader, so I can eat a book in an (long) evening so buying/borrowing five at a time doesn’t scare me.
Sometimes I stop writing and editing my own stuff while I’m on a book binge, but not so this weekend. I’ve actually noodled on an odd problem I was having with the PAR and started rewriting some chapters as a result.
In fact, I think the writing daemon was using books to distract me.
He seems to have done a bit of slight-0f-claw magic to trick me into fixing something that originally I didn’t think was broken. You see he tricked me into thinking my post-edit word count on the current chapter was way too high. Instantly I started thinking about how to shift things around to accommodate the ‘extra’ words and hit on the idea that I needed to add a new chapter.
The only problem with this was that, after figuring out what that new chapter would do narratively, I discovered my word count had been wrong! I had no extra words.
Like I say, I think there was some demonic intervention in that, because I then realised what I’d planned for this new chapter (that I no longer needed), actually was needed by the story. Hurrumph!
Ever since he’s has been daring me to go back to the, now unsatisfactory, original version. Little blighter. Because, I’m certain, he knew the couple of chapters that I’m now reworking weren’t pulling their weight. It just took me a while – and a lying word counter – to catch up with the fact.