Saturday, 23 January 2016

Holding a squirming fish

Last weekend, I started a new book after outlining the plot a few months back. I had a pretty decent idea of what I wanted to do with it and where the story would go scene by scene. By Thursday night, I was almost at 10k which is a nice speed. It wasn't perfect by any means, but things were progressing nicely, at least in terms of wordcount.

Then a problem.

Something about the book had been niggling me since finishing my sesssion last Sunday. It wasn't that every first draft is shit (which it is) or that not every book comes out as smoothly as others (for the record, Mirror Of The Nameless and Hometown wrote themselves as the cliche goes). It wasn't even that my first drafts are more often than not me telling myself the story before I tell others the story in the next however many drafts it takes to get it right.

I couldn't get a grip on the story. The best analogy I've got is trying to hold on to a squirming fish. With hands covered in oil. In the rain. While pissed. You get the idea. Either way, the story just wasn't gelling, and while I'm prepared to write a shit first draft, I still need to feel something about the tale is working before I can go with it. So here's my choice: stick with the POV and style as they are, or start from scratch. While I don't want feel like the last week has been a waste of time, it might be better to bin that 10k and start again.

Whatever I do, I need to remember writing does not get easier the more books you write. This one, whatever it ends up being titled, will be the fifteenth I've written since 1999. It does not become easier to do the more you write. And as always...


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