🙂 🙂 🙂
Just a short post this morning to tell you about my writing yesterday. It’s hard not to have doubts about our own work and that’s how I was feeling about certain aspects of the plot and the voice in my new novel I Am Wolf. It’s strange we put such pressure on ourselves, but I am never satisfied until I am sure it’s as good as I can make it and probably then some.
Writing a novel is not as simple as writing a short story and then making it really long— (simplistic I know!) — it’s an art form in itself and one that takes a lot of work and many drafts to get right. When writers embark on their first novel it is often with naivety and in a way that’s a good thing — because if they knew when they started it might well take 5 years and 15 drafts before it’s possibly good enough to be accepted, would they have done it? (Admittedly this is not the case for all but for many and often it’s the 3rd or 4th novel that is finally picked up.) Now I would have kept on — but many wouldn’t. It’s something you have to do for the long haul. I hear people talking about ‘having a go’ at getting their first novel written for a novel competition and that’s really great but just bear in mind if the writer has not really been published before (in other words might not be quite at the right level yet) and if the draft they submit to the competition is a first draft — be mindful of that fact and don’t’ expect too much. But then again, there are exceptions to every rule and I can only talk from my own experience 🙂 And the last thing I’d want to do is put anyone off! I always have been a positive thinker — but you have to be realistic in your expectations as well of course!
So, anyway, where was I? Oh trying to make this a short post! Yeah the new novel. As I was finishing the switch to first person for all chapters and therefore editing again as I read, I kept having realisations and not just on one or two plot points I worried stretched credibility a little too far, but lots of things. In my search for depth and more sympathy for Amy my protagonist, I added some more back story that showed why she is like she is. And it seemed I had unknowingly added a number of leitmotifs that seemed as if I was foregrounding my new key revelation and yet when I wrote them it wasn’t invented yet! Am I making sense?
It’s this magic that happens somewhere as you write and yesterday those moments of clarification you really need for the big structural edit, were coming thick and fast! I have lots of notes stapled together next to me and it’s only really near the end where the changes will come into full play.
I love it when it happens this way and I can’t wait to get cracking.
Of course to return to my first point about lots of drafts and lots of work — I would never have got to this point had I not gone through the many other drafts. Like I said — the long haul.
And don’t you just love it. Bring it on.
My aim now is to have a version ready for submission in September before the first novel is out.