I’ve spent the last three weeks trying to immerse myself back in the First World War, getting ready to present my novel at the ‘pitch it to a literary agent’ event I’m attending next weekend. I’ve been reading (Wounded: From Battlefield to Blighty, 1914-1918 and Undertones of War, the poet Edmund Blunden’s war memoir), watching tv (like the excellent Wipers Times) and chatting to re-enactors. As we’re in the thick of remembrance season, it’s been a good time to be doing this, with plenty of documentaries on tv.
I’ve also been re-reading my WW1 novel and trying to get to the core of what it’s about. I’ve been mulling over my 60-second pitch (relatively straightforward) and trying to rewrite the first page of the first chapter – the bit the agents will read (very much not-straightforward).
I’ve worked on about four different versions – different people, different places and I’m still not happy with anything I’ve got. I’ve got an idea for something new to try tomorrow, but I’m fast running out of time.