Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The new novel - a difficult and trying birth!

Since nobody ever said this, I wonder how we come by the notion that writing should get easier with practice! Maybe it's a throwback to primary school when we were actually learning to write. Or was it an idea planted by Barbara Cartland, resplendent in pink chiffon lying on her chaise longue dictating to her secretary.

I've three completed books (two fiction, one non-) - unpublished, there's the rub - and yet this new one is mewling and wriggling and kicking its little heels. I'm wondering if this is the difficulty

a) of trying to write another book when you know the others are glaring down from a top shelf; I'd only send one of them out ever again)

b) trying to write an amusing/ witty/ entertaining book or

c) because it is based on some things I cannot hide that actually happened, ie my child. (Who is masquerading a bug and curled up on the sofa writing her own novel. She's only 10; she doesn't 'get' writer's block yet.)

I'm desperately moving it further and further from any resemblance to people I knew and trying to make everything hold together far more than it did in real life. (That was messy. Fun, but messy. The book, instead is simply messy. Which means my house is now supremely tidy and well cleaned and there remain only about 12 of the hundred (very) odd cobwebs that were there before I started rewriting the first draft.)

And given the whole wood/ trees analogy (being too close to the trees, being chased by crazed woodcutters wearing the heads of wolves and playing for days with cute furry little meercats that have set up home at the base of the oldest Oak; yes, it is an unusual forest), I have to plough on to get to another draft.

This means ferreting through all the handwritten edits and scraps of plot and story and dialogue that have come since the first draft was finished and without which, I will never know if the whole thing actually works. On any level.

Next time it will be PURE fiction.

Or impure. All in all, I think that would be far more fun!

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