Thursday, August 26, 2010

A long, slow labour

The characters in my new book (book five, working title of ‘The 30 Something Crisis Club’) have not been behaving recently.

Or should I say, two of them (and on particular) have not been behaving. The bubbly character of Hope has been doing exactly what I want her to do and has become her own woman - the kind of writing experience a writer loves. Her voice is strong, funny and individual.

The two others? Meh. Not so much.

It is a painful experience for a writer to reach a stage in the book where you have written yourself into a corner and you no longer know what is going on in your characters’ mind. (Yes, I know, I make them up. I control their minds... but not really. The characters become real as each book progresses.)

So I’m chopping - cutting swathes of text, reducing my wordcount instead of increasing it and trying to get into the mind of my two other leads.

With a month to go until deadline, this is not a pleasant task.

It also highlights to me just how isolating writing really is. Yes, I have a very supportive network or writerly friends who understand what such an experience is like but the simple fact is, no one else can write this book except from me.

It’s a bit like being pregnant and feeling your waters pop and knowing that the next bit is all down to you. Other people can cheer from the sidelines. They can even offer choice words of support. They may supply mind altering substances every now and again to numb the pain. They can tell you that you can do it, even when you think you are totally spent. They can advise you what to do next but the dilating, the pushing and the puffing is all down to you.

Now if only I could get some gas and air piped into my living room...

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