Today is the 1st May and exactly six weeks until I publish and launch my novel, The Butterfly Storm. To celebrate that fact – and also because it’s getting more and more difficult to find suitable extracts from Time Shifters that don’t give too much of the plot away – I’m going to use WIPpet Wednesdays to post snippets from The Butterfly Storm leading up to launch day on the 12th June.
Up until the point of being published a novel is continually a work in progress. It starts with an idea, then builds plot and characters. Then there’s the first rough draft, then a second, third, fourth and fifth draft (or more) where the novel gets butchered and then put back together again hopefully into something that resembles a story with heart, a plot that keeps a reader hooked and believable characters that can be related to. After that there’s the final editing process, which is the time to weed out any inconsistencies, such as ensuring the character who has blue eyes in chapter 1 doesn’t have hazel eyes by chapter 21, and make sure each chapter, paragraph, sentence and word counts towards moving the story along. After that comes the proofreading stage to catch the last of any formatting, spelling and grammatical errors.
Even though I’ve got to that end stage every time I read through The Butterfly Storm I’m reading it as a writer and editor wanting to find ways of improving it and I’m not even sure that thought process will actually stop once I publish it. Will it even be possible for me to read it from a reader’s rather than a writer’s point of view? Either way I can confidently say that I’m very happy with my novel and how it’s has turned out – and I should be after nine years in the making.
So, in celebration of the 1st May, it being a beautiful sunny spring day here in Bristol and my launch being just a few weeks away, I give you one paragraph from chapter one of The Butterfly Storm. The following scene is set in Greece, Sophie is the narrator and Takis and Despina are Sophie’s Greek boyfriend’s parents.
It’s early July and it’s been over a hundred degrees in the shade all week. I’ve never felt heat like it. The cats lie spread-eagled beneath the vines, clinging to what shade they can. They look miserable, not even venturing towards the fields in search of mice, lizards or snakes. Even Takis, the calmest person I’ve ever met, curses the weather as much as Despina does. No one steps outside between midday and three. In the nearby village, roads are deserted and blinds and shutters are closed as if a hurricane is on its way rather than a heatwave. Only in the evening, after their siesta, do people reappear, to sit on their porches and fan themselves. Despina makes frappes and Takis drinks them outside the kitchen door as fast as they appear.
It’s easy to join in with WIPpet Wednesday, just post an extract from your WIP that relates in some way to the day – one line or paragraph from chapter one or even chapter 11 for example – and then add the link to the linky over on K L Schwengel’s blog.