Saturday, 16 October 2010

Meet The Daddy

notebook Yikes, I was a bit grim the other day, wasn’t I? My apologies.

It’s just occurred to me that I haven’t really addressed my writing on this blog. Mainly for the shameful reason that I haven’t done much of it. I’m not sure if other writers would agree with me, but I find it much harder to write the more time I have on my hands. It’s the same with a lot of my life – if I’m working full time I find I run more, write more and socialise more. I get less done on a week off work than I do on my first week back. Bit mad really.

The main writing news is that I’ve sadly scrubbed Idea Number Two from my whiteboard. Purely because it’s a brand spanking new idea that needs longer to stew. So I’ll be scribbling notes on that while I tackle Idea Number One, henceforth to be known as The Daddy.

I had promised myself I wouldn’t do this again. My first novel wasn’t straightforward – I used three narrators and covered 50+ years and not in chronological order. It was an editing nightmare, but I did it! I refused to be defeated! And then I was done I said to myself “The next book you write is going to start at the beginning and end at the end.” Ah, the promises you make yourself, do they ever remain unbroken?

Meet The Daddy: a family saga spread over two parallel universes. Oh yes. The first few thousand words have been divine. Absolutely wonderful to write, mainly because the split hasn’t happened yet. But we’re swiftly approaching the big question. “Yes” will lead to one universe and “No” will lead to another and thenceforth I’ll be juggling two worlds. Help! At least I can say that the story does begin at the beginning and end at the end, no more of this jumping about through time malarkey. It’s just that I have to write two stories at the same time.

Thankfully I’m yet to venture into parallel universe territory. I’m the sort of writer who will work and re-work the first 5,000 or so words. This is where I experiment, where I figure out if the story is best in third or first and if in first, who’s voice? I feel like I need to get these words right before I can move on, then I'm comfortable writing the rest of the story because I know my foundation is solid. the foundation might not last the edit but it will have done its job.

And I’ve just put down The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, a parallel-universe story of such brilliance I couldn’t stop grinning. Fortunately mine is just different enough that I don’t think I should give up, instead it has inspired me – it can be done!

Oh and keep an eye on Vulpes Libris, got a review up next Friday.

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