Crisis at the Novel Factory!
And I make no apologies for the overly-dramatic title. I do feel I’m at a crisis point. (I was going to put an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence, but decided having ‘dramatic’, ‘crisis’ and an exclamation mark was perhaps too much.)
As anyone who has cast even a cursory glance over my posts during the last few months will know, I’ve been struggling to write my current novel. I’ve forced myself to push on even though, at times, every word has been torment.
I’ve got three point of view characters – Marsha, Ollie and Helena. Ollie is the pivotal figure who plays a significant role in both Marsha and Helen’s stories. But Marsha and Helena? ‘Aye, there’s the rub.’ Their plot lines have to be forced together.
Back in September last year, when it first came to me (or first acknowledged to myself) that there were problems which weren’t to do with procrastination, writer’s block, the lovely summer etc etc, I wrote a list of advantages and disadvantages for continuing with the current plan. I wrote then that if I continued with the Marsha/Ollie/Helena set-up, the issues, relationships and psychological states would not be explored in enough depth. I asked myself a key question
Have I got two novels and I’m trying to squash them into one?
Despite this, I’ve persevered. But in the months since then I’ve managed to write only three more chapters. If I’m kind to myself, I can say that period included the launch of
with all that that entails, so it’s not surprising I didn’t manage to write more.
If I’m facing the cold, hard truth, I think I must accept that there are two narratives in there. Two narratives that are suffocating each other.
Last week, hoping to find a way out of my trough, I went to see editor, Lorna Fergusson at Fiction Fire. Without knowing my thoughts, Lorna had written in her notes ‘interest spread too wide and therefore dissipated’.
So, that’s it. I’ve written 50,000 words – can I go back to the drawing board?
Do I have a choice?Tags: structuring novels