I am still reworking Isle of Pelicans and while I am not a crime writer per se, there is a crime and series of dark events in this novel. What I have found hard to come to grips with is getting into the mindset of a man who has no issue with killing or taking a child. As a writer I feel the need to understand to write him; to get to grips with his actions. There is a tremendous need I feel to create some elements of empathy, however fragile, even in the darkest characters, so we understand how they came to be as they are and they are not evil caricatures but still real people. Making some sense of that is one thing, but allowing him to act in a way we would never do is harder still, because the rational part of me screams maybe it was an accident, maybe he didn’t really do that. But he needs to — for story. While we seek logic in how we allow the elements of a plot to unfold, when someone acts in a way so far removed from what we know to be rational or good, it’s hard to connect to that. And as writer we need to connect to that darkness to make it feel real — I might have to return to Stephen King to see how the master achieves this.
So it’s been a week of re-examining plot and motivation to make sense of what happens. This novel is proving to be a real challenge and seems to want to fight me all the way. I know there is something in there, but it hasn’t quite lined up yet. But it will.
So, it’s been that kind of week, planning, plotting, reworking as well as critiquing a Scottish historical novel which is somewhat apt given the events of this week.
This time next week I’ll be back in Wales for my last day as I get ready to move the boxes and rest of my things and this lovely office of mine can be complete. It’s the simple things — I designed a mouse mat for my new office yesterday, will share it below! Small things…
Have a great weekend. I will be blogging Monday and Tuesday and then off to Wales for Phase Two of the move.