I have been working on my current novel for a few months now, and am nowhere near where I had wanted to be.
The novel will have 20 chapters, and I am only now starting to write Chapter 6. It annoys me in many ways, because I am tough on myself and don’t like to see time wasted. Yet that is exactly what I seem to be doing. Don’t get me wrong, it is productive time wasted, because I am still writing. Just not on what I should be working on. I often write short stories during the novel-writing process, but they are usually quick flash fiction pieces, but the last month has seen me pen two decent lengths stories that have taken up a lot of my time.
The simple answer is that I just cannot get into this novel. I know what I want, but I can’t seem to get it down on paper.
Without giving too much away, the story is set on a golf course and is basically a fictional biography. Two friends, police officers, are walking the course, looking for a murder suspect, and as they go, one friend starts talking, this turns into a confession of sorts. He starts with his childhood abuse – which his friend knew nothing about – and continues through his life until the present day. We see his mistakes, the dark life he really lives. The drinking, smoking, planting evidence on people to get ahead etc.
It is basically a look at character, and the breakdown of human nature. I guess you could find a similarity (of sorts) with the movie falling down. Every step Michael Douglas takes, seems to push him further and further over the edge, when really, all he wanted to do was get home.
I have had this novel in my head for years, and it has gone through several transformations. In fact, the entire Highway to Hell trilogy was spawned from this one idea.
I love what the novel could be, and I like the way it is going, but I have never really written something so intensely character driven. I guess you could say I am nervous about not doing it well. In the Highway series, I can fall back on the storyline, the characters or the settings to keep things moving if I get bogged down. Here, the relationship is the key. The other thing is, the storyline is kind of Hitchcock by design, as in, I want to give as little away as I can, to keep people guessing, until the very last couple of pages, where the big reveal comes out.
I have those pages already written, and love them.
I am sure I just need to knuckle down and focus on it a little more. Forget my worries and just write what comes to my mind.
What was it that Stephen King says “Write with the door shut, edit with the door open.” (rather, that was what he was told when he was young). I love this quote, and think that maybe it is time I took the advice on this novel. That is how I have always worked in the past… so why not this time?
I am trying to edit as a go on this one too. Chapter by Chapter. I write a chapter, then edit it. I like the feel of it, and know that when I am done, the first draft
will should be pretty tight. I also need to remind myself that this means writing the complete draft will take longer because of the same reasons.
I love this novel, and I love what it promises to show, and think it demonstrates my abilities in a different light to the Highway novels, and perhaps that is it. I want to write it too well, too badly.
Anyway, I have rambled for a while now, and not really made a point. I guess this post doesn’t actually have one, it was more of a brain dump… making space for those ideas that will propel me forward once more. 🙂
I promise, my post tomorrow will be full of points, and questions, and meaningful topics.
Thanks for reading.