Thursday, 27 May 2010


sunny, slightly cooler, temps 25

Cold we're just five degrees above normal. Another beautiful day. Michael swam and I was about to, but other things popped up, so didn't.

Spent most of the day editing...then realized it was wrong. I just wasn't happy with it. So I read the original version, from the first draft...and there were some sections - turns of phrases really - I liked. But even then it didn't gel. It was OK - perhaps even good. But not perfect. I know when it's bang on. I just feel it. And this scene isn't. It's quite early in the book and quite complex and needs to be done with a light hand, which means getting the POV right, the dialogue right, the small strokes filling in character needs to be happen so naturally you don't even realize. But the character just fills out.

So I went for a walk. And sat on a bench. And imagined the scene. This way. That way. I saw it, and followed it. And all hit a wall. Then, as I showered and was thinking of it - an idea came. A POV that hadn't occured to me before...but might also solve another issue. I'm quite excited about it.

Right now I don't want to over-think just feels right now. So I want to approach it fresh tomorrow morning.

I know if this doesn't work something eventually will. I worry, but I don't panic. It's more of a work so hard and know it still isn't right...but I also know all this is necessary, before I can get it right. But it's much more fun when I get it right the first time! Or the second.

Oddly, when it's a real pain, and I fight and fight - it feels even better when the solution presents itself. And I know the book is even better for the struggle. It forces me to go to places I might have been resisting. To see things in myself I didn't want to see - and needed to put on the page.

But most of the time, it's about being more subtle.

Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's just really hard. But it's always worth the effort. Cause when I finally get it right...whoooppeee!!! Joy.


Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that I appreciate you! All the hard work that you put into these books provides completely absorbing, emotionally satisfying entertainment for me and the others who love Three Pines and the people who live there.

Maureen Harrington-Carter said...

When you write these things about doing your work, the sense of discipline you mentioned in an earlier post becomes clearer to me. I realize that I have been confusing organization with discipline-- hmmm.

whalewatcher said...

Thanks for continuing to share the process so openly.
It really makes the books even more interesting to me to know what you go through to get them so perfect in the end. You are the key to it all, but I hope you feel the support from all of us.

Linda said...

Louise, I'm curious. It sounds as if by the time you're finished with your 1st draft-2nd draft-edit, we'd be looking at perfection. You won't settle for just "good enough". So, do you leave anything for your editor to do? I'm not familiar with the process, but I'm fascinated and grateful to get to look over your shoulder. Best of luck!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

I do feel your support - and I'm glad you're enjoying being part or at least privy to, the process.

And yes, there's a lot for the editors to do. they always have have terrific suggestions and insights. sometimes I can get too close and their familarity with the series but distance from the specific manuscript means they see problems or issues I don't. Each book has been made better by their help.