Tuesday, 12 June 2012
A born again novel
Last year I blogged that I'd finished writing my novel. I proudly explained that it was in a state only a parent could love, but that it was here. I'd typed 'The End'. Yet, my internal voice wasn't happy. It kept niggling that it had been too easy, that blood hadn't been shed. So, in typical arse about face fashion, I started reading every book Amazon could supply on writing. And I fell at the first hurdle. Because my baby, at just 30-odd thousand words, was barely a pamphlet. What I had written was the mother of all outlines.
I started again using these bones, rejigging events, adding subplots, weaving in new and unexpected characters who came to life straight down my arms into my fingertips with no conscious involvement from me. Draft after draft was produced but unlike last time I never dared to type 'The End'. I studied more about the craft of writing (show not tell, narrative arc, beats, action and reaction scenes), and read novels by published authors in the genre. I wrote while my mum was dying, during family dramas, kids' fighting, a leaking roof and the decline and eventual demise of both elderly cats. Only once did I throw things - the day I realised events in my first nine chapters were in the wrong order - but there was more than one bout of frustrated tears as I remained focused on my goal.
Now, it gives me great pleasure to announce the arrival of a proper, grown up novel. It's a respectable 94 thousand words with, I hope, humour, tension and soul. And it was properly hard: No voices telling me I got away lightly this time, no siree - my DNA is in this book. Next step is to find a co-parent - someone who will love it as much as me and help me send it out into the world in Sunday best. In the meantime, as I don't want it to be an only child, the younger brother or sister is already in production. The second one has to be easier, surely? Doesn't it...?
Posted by Paula - ivegotadrill