This week in the Labyrinth

28 July 2003

I’m writing very hard at the moment. That means I’m also full of ideas to take me away from my main task – writing my novel.

Of course, when you are nose to the grindstone on something really big – I mean really long and draining, like the three year marathon of writing Labyrinth, every new idea not connected with your work seems wonderful – pure crystalline perfection. Your only real desire is to drop the hard slog and wander off into the pleasant pastures of something new and untested.

But you can’t.

Therefore, I’ve published a new Advice to writers page on the nitty-gritty of getting the job done called Fine tuning. In a way it follows on from last week’s page on Structure

Fine tuning is the 48th page in the series. I plan to stop at 52 – one a week for a year – that should do the trick, no?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, recently, too. Some of it is straight research – God’s Heretics by Aubrey Burl, for example. I picked up a biography of Vivian Stanshall called Ginger Geezer because I realised he looked rather like on of my characters in Labyrinth. I’ve recently read a wonderful analysis of the great question of how it is no alien life forms have ever made sensible contact with sensible humans – leaving aside weirdos in lonely fields or on empty roads who can’t corroborate their tales – called Where is Everybody? The sad conclusion is we haven’t met ’em because they don’t exist.

Another book – a Dictionnaire des mythologies that I picked up for 2o francs in a supermarket – has fallen apart and lies in shreds beneath my desk. Oh dear.

In the Labyrinth new doors can open or close at any time …