Every time I leave a novel I’m working on to marinate for a while and then re-read it, I feel as if it’s a bit like a philosophical experiment along the lines of Schrödinger’s Cat. The novel could either be dead or alive until you actually open the file to see for yourself.
Because of having an impatient streak that seems to be getting bigger as I get older, I couldn’t wait more than a week after finishing my first draft of ‘The Four Seasons Quest’ to open the file again. I’ve now re-read the whole thing, and I feel much better. At one point I seemed to be sending my characters on a whole series of wild goose chases, and I was worried I had completely lost my thread, but now I see that it does make some sort of sense! Or at least it does to me. My task over the next few weeks is to make sure it makes sense to others too.
As usual there are a lot of asterisks in the manuscript to mark places where I can’t remember someone’s first name or last name, or even if I gave them a last name at all. It’s also fairly random whether people call other characters by their first names or not, something that is more prevalent now than it was in the 1950s. Some of the asterisks mark places where I need to add more explanation, and in one case I’ve distanced myself too much from an event and have to try and make it more immediate.
I think that’s about all I can divulge at the moment, except that there is a scene in the Pass of Killicrankie (see picture). Everything will become clear in due course – I hope to publish this by the end of October at the latest.