Brewing the perfect novel

28 05 2009

The draft is finished. 763,000 cups of tea later… the draft is finally finished.

And it’s a good thing I procrastinated over so many cups of tea, because now is the moment when all that ‘brewing’ experience pays off. Now I get to sit and wait, while my manuscript brews and my mind clears. Ready to transform this thing into a final work.

The Fragrant Leafsays brewing is simple and straightforward. (If only it was!) They even outline some simple steps to show how simple brewing is.

1. Start with fresh, cold good-tasting water – I have fresh, crisp good-sounding words. I must be on the right track.

2. Preheat the teapot – Hey, this story is positively smoking. It’s got action, it’s got pace, and characters that leap from the page. (Okay, so sometimes they have arthritic knees and it’s not so graceful. It’s still hot.)

3. Measure the appropriate amount of dry leaves – Dry leaves? Ah, yes. Those moments where we allow the reader to come up for air, and take a break from it all. I’m sure I’ve got an appropriate amount of those. 

4. Select the right water temperature – Still treading water in the shallow end of the writers’ pool. Time to dive in the deep end I think. 

5. Steep for the proper length of time – The crux of the whole brewing thing. Normally I’d let it steep for a month, but who can wait that long these days? Besides, I’m on a time budget here and I’m not getting any younger either. I’m thinking a week. One week. Seven days. And it’s liberating not to think about my novel every spare second. And it kind of leaves me lost at the same time. What did I think about before I started writing this thing? 

Never mind. A week it is. I haven’t looked at it since Friday, so that means tomorrow my week is up. Oh no, that went so fast. I can feel the tension rising already. 

Urgh! 

I think I’d better go make a cup of tea. 

Sash.


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2 responses

30 05 2009
Elle

Love the bit about feeling liberated and lost at the same time, after having the story taking up so much head space for so long!

And, let me say, it’s a cracker of a story. I couldn’t put it down! Which reminds me, when are you sending me the last few chapters?

BTW, there’s a weird side effect to all this tea brewing.

I brewed myself a cup of tea before bed… and that was three hours ago. So here I am, as wide eyed as a possum. At least I’ve been terribly productive and added another chapter to my novel.

If I drink enough tea each night, I’ll have the thing polished and ready to go in no time. And I’ll have sleep deprivation.

14 04 2010
the cat

And me! Hands up…or this is back to space? In which case I wants a final edit, I wants it, I needs it….And what kind of tea is it that is steeped for a week? Damn fine tea, or a significant robust nature. So sayth the tea drinking cat.

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