By Jessica Duchen

The mystery of Beethoven's lost love – Immortal Beloved.

Friday, 29 November 2019

BREAKING: The first draft is finished!

Dear friends and supporters,

Amazing news: the first draft of IMMORTAL is finished.

I've written 140,000 words in six months. That was the fun bit. 

It is more than ten years since I last wrote a first draft in such a short time, so it is a relief to find I can still do it. Ghost Variations was interrupted by bouts of intense stress, annoying illnesses and frustrating situations (until I found Unbound) and took five years in all; Odette was being resuscitated after 26 years. Meanwhile it has been wonderfully heartening to find so much excitement around IMMORTAL. And oddly, it becomes easier to write the short-form journalism and programme notes that are my bread & butter while also working on something so unwieldy; it's like playing a musical instrument, a smoother business when your fingers and brain are well trained and fully in gear.

What happens now? I must go back and cut, cut, cut. I must make sure I haven't told readers something crucial at the beginning that they shouldn't find out til the end. I must locate any characters who disappear halfway through and work out what to do with them; of course it's not their fault if they died - one of the traps in fact-based fiction is that the course of events does not always suit good story structure. I must decide how much music is enough without being too much; I appreciate that not everybody will want to read about every piano sonata Beethoven ever wrote, to say nothing of the symphonies - but do I also need to bring in pieces I've left out? For instance, I love the Violin Concerto, but it doesn't do anything here... Then I need to take the plunge at some point and actually show the manuscript to people - notably the developmental editor who will no doubt have red and green pens poised to do more of the above; it's just a question of how soon...

So there we go. There wasn't a book. Now there is. That is, at least, a good start.

Thank you, as ever, for your support and enthisiasm for IMMORTAL! 

MORE NEWS: We're on a Black Friday - Book Friday - special offer! If you haven't already secured your advance copy(ies), you can do so UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, FRIDAY 29 NOV and get 15% off by entering the code BOOKFRIDAY15 at checkout. Please tell your friends.

Love and best wishes,

Jessica x



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