The Duck Has Demands

In my ‘Writing’ folder there is a ‘Junior Fiction’ folder. In my ‘Junior Fiction’ folder there is a ‘Duck for a Day’ folder.

This is all well and good. This is the sign of an organised mind, an organised computer, a manageable filing system.

But what is inside the ‘Duck for a Day’ folder?

Eighteen documents, my friends:

Ducknotes
Duckplan
Duckpending446de-duckfiles
Duckrejects
Duckcurrent
Ducknewdraft
Duckasracingread
Duckasracingread2
Duckasracingreadfinal
DuckJuly
DuckJulyrev
DuckJulyrevSue
Duckfinal
Duckabsolutelyfinal
Duckevenmorefinal
Ducksubfinal
Ducksubnew
DuckOMG

This utter chaos, this mess of revisions and re-starts and absolutelydefinitelynodoubtaboutit final drafts, is the measure of how a book has toyed with me, of the many paths and laneways it has led me down, only to turn around and shake its head and blithely say, “Actually, no, I think we’d better go back the way we came.”

When I wrote the lines, “The duck is difficult. The duck has demands”, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.

People think these little books are simple, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that writing simple is a very complex thing.

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