Thursday, 15 November 2007

Reading a Manuscript Part Two (Part Three): Sick as an ex-parrot

My next comments to Dave are some suggestions as to where the manuscript could be added to, to make the book even better. These are partly to do with presentation, and partly to do with things that Dave has already touched upon and I think that he could make more of.

The first of these concerned Results and Memorabilia. This book is, essentially, a nostalgia football book, and I want to Dave to think about what he could add here to bring this out. Here are some of my thoughts: the inclusion of league tables at the end of each match to emphasise Bromley’s downward spiral (a similar device was used in David Peace’s The Damned United); team sheets, perhaps laid out in formation, or with Dave’s ratings of each player; Programme comments, such as a few juicy quotes from the chairman’s editorial.

My second thought is for Dave to add a little bit more about the wider culture of the time. There’s a brilliant bit where Dave describes watching the first ever episode of Monty Python and turns it off thinking it rubbish… only to go to school the next day to find everyone quoting the sketches at each other. I’ve asked him to do more of this, whether it’s about TV, film, music or, indeed, football – the contrast with what is happening at the top of the league will, I think, only heighten the Bromley story.

My third thought is for Dave to put a little bit more of his feelings and emotions in to some scenes. There are places where Dave describes what has happened but doesn’t give his response to it. The more emotion he is happy to put in, the more the reader is going to be able to emphasise with him.

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