Writing a novel consists not only of multiple layers of story, characterisation and meaning, but varying phases of actual writing and enjoyment.
I’m at the bum-on-seat stage, working through my LONG Excel list of “fix ups”, cross checks, rewrites, rethinks, research chase-ups and rewriting the rewrites.
Some of this stage is step-by-step methodical slog. Gone is the thrill of exploring new scenes, turning points, discovering new characters or even much in the way of composing new words. A lot is down to nitty-gritty fact and consistency checking, addressing isolated research details, and more often than I like to admit having to go in and insert transitions.
I’m also doing lots of rewriting, which I do love, especially at this stage when my main characters spring instantly to life on the screen compared to the early writing when I knew them only on a superficial level and was fumbling my way around their true feelings about their situation and relationship. Now I know how they think, speak, and react, their lives, world and story flow through my fingers and jump onto the page with ease.
So it’s a thrilling and painful time, fear fixed to the chair, hoping I’m getting it right. Days of high highs sensing progress, dogged by days of despair, terrified I’m messing it up. All quite normal when writing a novel, I’m told.
I hope so.
What stage are you at with your WIP? Are you thrilled or fearful? Getting there or going backwards? I alternate and switch allegiance multiple times in a week. Some days I worry I’m not moving forward at all. Others, I know I am. Writing – is not for the faint hearted. There are no guarantees, and few make a living. So why do we do it?
Because we bloody love it. Either that or we’re sheer bloody-minded. Which one are you?