Friday, 14 September 2012

The fear of a non-story

Amongst all the other ongoing projects, I was pondering my completed novel as I showered away the day yesterday. I say completed, but truthfully it's only on the third draft or so, and I lack confidence in what I've done.  At this distance, having stewed for a few months, I'm concerned about it in a few areas. The pace and strength of the storyline are issues for me.

It's so easy to pull your punches with your beloved characters. For instance, in this novel, my protaganist abducts a child. At the moment, her plans are quite vague (perhaps a reflection of my certainty in plotting?), but her intention appears to be more to draw attention than to 'get away with it'. The more I consider it, the more I think her intention should be darker, more decisive.

I'm afraid I'm creating a non-story, like the ones you find in local newspapers - "Bridge nearly closed on Thursday" - that kind of thing. I suspect that my protagonist and I both need to put some more effort into getting away with the abduction; without the courage of our convictions, she and I will not create a story that grips.

How to do this is another matter...and the thought of going back to chapter 1, page 1 and beginning rewrite number 345 (I exaggerate) makes me feel like turning my back on my poor little novel, and focusing on my new creation, instead. What a traitor!

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