Monday, 9 October 2006

a minor moral dilemma

I've got a minor moral dilemma... and it goes like this.

Every so often, a person emails me, asking for advice and about my experiences in a certain area. They want my help... and I give it. I reply to the questions as best I can. But... this person never thanks me for the stuff I tell her. This person never even replies to my emails or acknowledges them. Last time, I hinted that I'd like a reply, however short, and all I got was the email receipt thingie... But, this person must receive the info I send because she keeps sending questions.

Now this is making me angry. My natural response is to help. And not just, I'll admit, out of the saintly goodness of my heart. I'm a great believer in what goes around comes around, and if you help people, someone will help you in return when the time comes. And when someone helps me, my reaction is to thank them, as any normal person's is.

I don't expect fulsome praise and fawning plaudits from this person, just 'thanks, that helped' would be sufficient. But I know I won't get it, so I'm wondering whether I should supply any info this time... I keep thinking 'why should I?'... but I suppose I'll crumble in the end, and send some info.

What would you do, gentle reader?

what happens in books when your memory is shot

Actually did more editing yesterday than I was expecting to. Especially when I spent a lot of the day watching World Superbikes with himself [some great racing though!] Am now part way through scrutinising the long, kinky scene, using both paper and screen editing... and I'm finding it's far more humane somehow. Definitely a love type scene... the growing bond between the two characters is really coming out, even though the action is very pervy. And I'd almost forgotten this, despite the fact that I only wrote it just over two weeks ago!

That's the problem with having a crap memory! I can't 'hold' the story of a novel in my head these days... I used to be able to once upon a time, esp. when I was engaged in my futile attempts to write Mills and Boon novels [only 55K] but nowadays, the RAM inside my head must have degraded or something, because five minutes after I've written something, I've more or less forgotten it!

Which can create inconsistencies if I'm not careful to scrutinise and edit work several times... although having a critique partner can be an enormous help in spotting the funnies. An instance I encountered in yesterday's editing was... Annie describes making a phone call to someone in the narrative, and then later, when talking to Valentino, she describes the same incident as an actual meeting!!! Ack, nearly a nasty accident there... And also there have been one or two minor occurrences of things being said or done or not said or not done that have impact on the story later on, but which I've completely overlooked...

You can pick up other things in 'repeat runs'... For instance, it suddenly occurred to me that Annie might have behaved like a complete bitch to a secondary character, Charles. But in the editing, it's possible to make her seem less so... by the simple expedient of inserting one, single sentence, that shows that in fact Charles was the one behaving badly.

Anyway, hope to finish this 'pass' today, and maybe do a few more little tweaks... and then hopefully I can send it off to my CP [her time permitting...] and also my agent. And they'll spot even more things that I've missed!!!