Saturday, May 29, 2010
.....................The Last Lap
Haven't been blogging much as I've been writing. In September I decided to write a novella. I had absolute confidence it would take six months (max), because it was an uncomplicated story set over a short space of time. Ha! (Bitter laughter at my own innocence.)
Ten months later I'm editing the last chapter of a novel. It's like being stuck in a relationship I'd planned to end months ago. I need to move on. It's over. Except the nearer I get to "The End" the slower my progress becomes...like one of those sentimental moments in the movies when the hero is nearing the finishing line and everything goes in slow motion.
My mantra (stolen) is to "write without hope, and without despair" and I'm getting there. An awful lot of what I wrote in the early stages has been abandoned as the story that wanted to be told emerged, characters I'd spent a lot of time describing were binned (sorry baby Mary!) to allow for this. The process of writing the novel actually became the process of finding out which novel I was going to write. I've learnt not to get too attached to the first draft or too committed to word counting. Otherwise you can be tempted to manipulate a story to fit your early writing when it really wants to gallop off in a different direction. Next time I won't be so precious about the first three or four chapters because they were really just a process of warming up and getting into the story.
Did I just say next time?