I am on a mission next week to get to grips with the threads, or in this case the dots of the new novel, with a full-steam-ahead attitude to get the first draft nailed with gusto and passion.
A few novels I have edited recently have suffered from a lot of threads or subplots and unless the threads tie directly into and become part of the key story thread and its resolution then they act as ‘filler’ which is non-functional and should be removed.
The problem with Dotty is its sense of it forming ideas as it goes, every few lines telling me another thing it needs and so the danger can be convolution. Hence my need to allow it the space to breathe and then shape it to my whim. It’s proving to be a huge amount of fun and it’s developing strong legs I have to say.
Writing is an odd process and I hope by sharing some of the odd things we writers come up against or experience some of you might relate or pause and think: what a strange person I am! I really don’t mind!
The main thing I think is while you cannot stifle creativity and often the best ideas only come by allowing some aspects to form for themselves as you write, at the same time being aware of function; of the dangers of being too clever or over-complicated. I think the trick with the new one is there are a lot of seemingly unconnected incidents on Church Lane but as they happen (often surprising me!) they are there to bring in new information (i.e. functional) and allow one thing to lead to another. In the end the meaning and the connectivity (hence its other title being The Theory of Dots) allows these to come together in a focussed way. I have to say that while I strongly advocate the simple straightforward linear story line with a balanced sense of direction, I am also a huge fan of the usual and even the experimental. This is perhaps why I stumble with finding the kind of read that really challenges my thinking, and why I get so excited when I write something that challenges it.
Welcome to my wonderful madness: maybe if I ever write the story of my life it will be called: My Wonderful Madness.
Anyway that is me for the week, meeting a new writer tomorrow so doing the coffee shop thing in the morning rather than the gym, and then time for lurve … plans to hang out with the man; working Sunday though.
Have a great weekend everyone, whatever you plan to do!
Join the dots!