The Rewrite

Demons round a table.

The ruling sub-committee of Hell.

Have rather miraculously found myself with about six days when all I have to do is the day job. Then, suddenly, things are set to get incredibly mad throughout December. So – I have the best part of a week to do the rewrite of Wonderful. No pressure there, eh?

I’ve been thinking about it since I wrote “The End” on Page 350-odd, so there are things I know I definitely need to do to the manuscript, and things that have deliciously suggested themselves to me – things like the Pencil of Ultimate Doom, for instance, things which give the piece a bit more oompf and a bit more bounce and a bit more joy.

What’s more, Ive been mainlining The West Wing recently, and that’s a) always good for dialogue, and b) the modern equivalent of Shakespeare, I swear, and I want to get more of that flavour into the work. I have the nasty suspicion that as it stands, there are funnier books with similar premises out there, and I need to really notsomuch up my game, as launch it from a cannon or strap it to a Soyuz missile or somesuch. It feels too leaden in places it should be light, too light in places it should hit hard, and too hectoring and lecturing…erm…pretty much everywhere. It’s a very odd sensation, you know, to have a novel that in itself is fairly sure it’s better than your ability to write it, but I’m an editor by trade, I know this happens. I’ve seen fantastic ideas let criminally down by the author’s inability to handle or master the potential of their imaginations.

Did I mention the six days? Seriously, no pressure.

In the meantime, here’s a treat for you – the latest in the fantastic illustrations from PS Brooks, this one showing Hell’s secret cabinet:

Top of the table – Beelzebub. Then down the left hand side: Mammon (he of the Pencil of Ultimate Doom) the Demon Builder; Lilith, Queen of the Succubi; Mephistopheles, Git, First Class and celebrity demon.

Down the right hand side: Moloch, Head of the Joint Chiefs and Warrior Demon, Cowle, Head of the new but surprisingly powerful Entertainment Division, and standing, Belial, Secretary General of the Amalgamated Union of Demons, Evildoers and Revenant Spirits, or AUDERS.

Tonight, we sleep. Tomorrow the rewrite begins.

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