Friday, January 11, 2013

Of arrogance, condescension and scrivenings

I am now working through the fifth draft of Call of the Northland.  While progress is going well, I am starting to wonder if the publication date of September 2013 is perhaps a little optimistic.  The content of the book is much more important than the deadline and I will push the release date back if I need to. 

The book is currently going through a major restructuring, which I hope will make it more engaging and a more coherent entity.  I haven't started looking at which photographs of my trip I might include, but I am leaning towards not using that many, allowing the text to carry the journey.  This decision is, of course, a long way down the line (no pun intended) as there needs to be a text completed in order for there to be a book.

One of the most difficult parts of editing is deciding if the tone is arrogant, or more likely, condescending towards northern Ontario.  Have a painted an unrealistic, quaint, image?  Did what I see really represent what life in northern Ontario is like?  It is very hard to write about somewhere with only a superficial understanding of what it is actually like to live there.  As an outsider, you are likely to project how you feel about things onto the reality of where you are.  Given that the book covers such an emotional issue, I am working very hard to get this right.  In Cochrane, I felt part of the community and I felt welcome.  I hope my observations and writing can convey this.

To help me with my editing, I am using a very handy piece of software called Scrivener.  It claims to be a word processor designed for authors, offering all sorts of handy ways of moving text around, organising thoughts and putting together large projects.  I was a little sceptical at first, but after using the free trial, I am very impressed as it lets me work with small portions of text and lets me keep track of what I still need to do.  It isn't the cheapest writing software, but I will definitely be buying a copy.