Thursday, 17 March 2011

Diving in and driving on

Have managed two writing sessions this week.  It was surprisingly hard to get started on the first day, like getting ready to dive into a cold swimming pool, but once I was in, I wondered what I'd been reluctant for. It was like coming home.

The problem now is that the enforced break has given me too much thinking time.  I've read reams of valuable advice over the past year, and one thing that's just filtering through is how I need to put my protagonist through the mill.  I've got to make her life as miserable as I can, and refuse to rescue her too soon.  This is hard when I like her (she is my creation, after all), and it makes me uncomfortable to imagine such difficulties on her.  It almost feels cruel, fictional though she is.  But I'm going to do my best;  I'm going to improve my writing and strengthen my story.  So I drove home tonight (forty minutes) planning what evil I could visit on the poor innocent.  Of course, to plague her with everything I thought of would be poor writing too.  But I can see that I need to add at least some of the extra conflict to my story...which means that my current rewrite is going to be an even greater task than I have been experiencing and anticipating.  My woolly self-imposed deadline is already being postponed;  I'm trying to convince myself that a half hour a day has a merit all of its own, and I'm wondering if the children would really miss me that much if I locked myself in the study for the next month or two.

Thank goodness the break gave me time to remotivate, and to find enthusiasm for a project that I've already put so much into.  I have the energy and determination to tackle this, and to do my best, where two weeks ago, I might have felt I'd already given the novel my all, and it would have to stand or fall in its present incarnation.   I'm going to see it through, so I'm going to have to push myself when my drive fades.  But in the meantime, it's getting late, so I'm going to go to bed with a good book, and call it 'researching the craft'.  There's so much to love about this work.

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