Edits, re-writes, self doubt and black cassis scones to see me through the day
It's been a very cold month, so far. So cold, I find myself freezing, as I sit at my desk going over endless rounds of edits on a trilogy that has had me going round like crazy for a while. I find myself craving all the hot drinks: every kind of tea, all the hot chocolate, piping hot roasted barley drinks, you name it. I want cosy, I want warm, I want silence and restfulness, so that I can focus my mind and work.
It hasn't been all that easy, to focus. I haven't touched my WIP in a month - give or take, as I did have a strange attack of ze muse midway through December and had to jot down an entire scene that wouldn't leave my mind. I find myself worried I can never go back to it, I've lost my mojo, I've lost touch with those characters and that story. Thankfully, I made sure I have it all stored away, on notebooks, on character sheets, pinterest moodboards, it's all there to help me get back into it, once I'm ready.
That is, once my Arthurian trilogy has gone through the current rounds of re-read, re-write, edits, I found myself needing to do. Since the moment I wrote the last line on the last volume of said trilogy, I haven't touched it again. Stored it away for good measure, put it out of my mind, simply because the voices in my head were no longer those. I had new characters inside me that shouted to come out, so I needed to give them people my undivided attention. I did just that, put away the others and focused on these nagging voices.
But then one day, I woke up with a need to get back to Camelot. I woke up with a desire to see if it was any good, what I'd done there, or if there were any salvageable bits and pieces. So I knew I had to get back to it, go through the entire trilogy, reassess all I'd done there, check if it was any good. The first thing I found out was scary. Both the first two books were huge. I mean HUGE. Over 170000 words. And they still are. I've combed through them with as fine toothed a comb as I could, and they still are enormous.
It's what always happens to me, I write way too much. Everyone who purpotes to know their beef around the writing, editing and publishing world keeps on about how you shouldn't leave a scene or a chapter or even a paragraph in your draft if it doesn't advance the plot. I, stubborn and stuck up as I am, beg to differ. I find it essencial to have those bits and pieces where the plot is not advancing, but the characters are closely shown to us. Like diving a little into their souls, their minds, their cores. I know this is a bit contrary to genre writing - which, in the end, is what I do, because of all the paranormal aspects of my stories - and more in line with literary works, where the insides of the characters are what matters most, some books not even having a plot.
So I found myself with a bit of a problem, because, if book one and two are huge, book three... not so much. Currently at 164000 words, I am aware - and was, at the time I finished it - I'd overlooked stuff, and left out entire scenes I needed to have in it. But those other voices, the story for another book, it kept luring me with its siren call, so I had to do what I did. Now, as I'm going through book three, I find myself having to add bits and pieces to the already existent chapters, and trying to figure out where the scenes I know I left out may fit. All the while going through the tedious process of constantly thinking no one's ever gonna like this, but me...
Not so with these scones. These won't be nay-sayed by anyone, I think. They're so yummy, and delicious, pipping hot and lathered with butter or jam!! Here's how to get them:
- 60 gr sugar
- 340 gr spelt flour
- 30 gr margarine
- 20 gr butter
- 1 egg
- 1 dl milk
- 2 tspoons baking powder
- 1 tspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 scant cup of frozen black cassis
Sieve the flour and the baking powder into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and combine, gently kneading all together - do not knead it like bread, just amass the whole together until it binds. Pour it on a workbench that has been lightly floured and roll the dough into a sausage. Cut the roll in even pieces and set them on a baking tray covered with baking sheet. Beat the egg yolk and swab the scones with it (add a little water to make it easier) then just bake them on a pre-heated oven until they're blonde. Let cool over a wrack and enjoy them with a cup of tea and a little butter, or a lot of butter!