I’ve had some time recently to write my book. Although I’ve got quite a lot of articles coming up I can only do the research for these, so when I have time, it’s time for my book.
When I sit down to write my novel I open up my word doc, start to look through my words and my heart sinks.
Hmmmm; now, I’m not a rocket scientist – but this strikes me as Not Good.
If my heart sinks I have no doubt that yours will too.
There is definitely something wrong.
Many of you will say ‘it’ll be okay, it can be fixed in the first edit’ but there won’t be a first edit if my heart sinks every time I open it up because pretty damn swiftly I’m closing it up again. And this is becoming a bit of a habit.
These are the things I’ve identified:
The voice is all wrong. It’s not me. I’ve (stupidly?) read lots of ‘how to’ books who talk about using lots of dialogue, and yet I don’t feel real doing that. The books that I read and enjoy don’t have loads of dialogue. So what I’ve got in those 23,000 words is lots of not real-to-me words.
I also know there are lots of scenes not necessary to the telling of the story, but I can’t identify which is which yet. I am a quarter of the way in, but only at the beginning of the story. Will I have to write 200,000 words before I can work out which 100,000 I actually need?
I don’t know my characters well and I feel stupid making up characters (my demon suggests I should stick to article writing?)
I do understand, both in theory and reality, that the first draft can be crap so it’s not as though I’m trying to write perfection.
I am sure of my story. I know it’s the story I want to tell. I feel the themes but I don’t know how to get there. I want to feel excited by it again.
I can see no other way but to start again … again; ignoring the ‘how to’ books and writing from me.
(My very exciting Christmas news is that I’m going on a Skyros writing course here in Thailand. I want to make full use of it by not having these problems when I go.)
(And I am oh so lucky that people around me are beginning to say to me ‘sorry, am I interrupting your writing time?’ You are lovely people and taking me more seriously than I am. Thank you; perhaps in time I’ll catch up with your faith in me.)