Friday, January 18, 2008

Shelf Life

I write contemporary fiction; darkly comic stories that string together snapshots of today’s attitudes and events. On the surface, I’d accept that this particular genre is perhaps the simplest of all to tackle. I don’t mind admitting that, as a naturally lazy bloke, writing without research is hugely appealing. But it isn’t all good news. You see, for my stories to work, the reader has to recognise their context or at least be aware that the places and people they are laughing at or with, really could exist just outside the door, That’s how fiction works; the fresher the situation, the better the reading experience. The flip side of this is that, in today’s world where taste and truth can change with the flick of TV switch, ensuring the longevity of a manuscript needs careful attention. Imagine for example, Dan Brown putting the final touches to the Da Vinci code, sitting back with a smug grin only to see on the news that some dusty old archaeologist had found the real holy grail, spooned a goblet from the sand somewhere in the Holy Land. Bummer, and it’s the same risk with the fictional manuscripts that we slave over for months on end. I can tell you, it can be a long, anxious wait between submission and release; a time during which at any moment mass opinions or truths can change turning your funky fresh book into a pile of rotting pulp.

Recycling Jimmy ....get it whilst its hot!

No comments: