So the last time we spoke, I had set myself a goal of writing 500 words a day. So I might hope to get this novel finished some time this century. I went really well the first day, 522 words, the second day I also met my target. But then disaster struck. Well, in actual fact, a tummy bug.
Incidentally I had only been telling my partner last week that I had never had a tummy bug in my life before (that I could remember anyway), and I went so far as to profess I might actually be immune to such an inconvenience.
I wish I hadn’t opened my big mouth, because I was struck down with full force on day 3 of my writing target and consequently wrote nothing, not a measly word, on both day 3 & 4. Instead, I was forced to wallow around in pain and vomit. I’ll spare you the details, but I was not impressed, as you can imagine.
But as these things sometimes turn out, it was a good thing. It gave me time to think about my ending. It gave me time to realise that I was on the wrong track. Yes, I’d written over 1000 words, but I might as well have written nothing, because it was all crap. Crap, crap, crap! None of it made sense.
I wonder if I would have finally realised that it was crap, if I hadn’t become ill and stopped writing like a maniac. Would I have continued to go off in the wrong direction? Would my character have continued to do things she wasn’t supposed to do? With the completely wrong motive? Maybe not for a while. And that would have sucked.
So I’m happy I got ill. Not at the time (I assure you!) But now, yes. Because tonight I got out my notepad – again – and reworked my story. I did a character profile, I delved into plot holes, and I tied up the ends that were still hanging loose. I kept pushing and pushing until my poor little brain (I’ve been making it work hard lately) finally decided to give up the goods.
And I reached that Eureka moment. Woo hoo! It’s such a good feeling. I actually wrote the word on my notepad. Along with a big smiley face. I know that’s a bit sad, but I like seeing a smiley face at the end of my my scribbles.
It was such a good moment, I think I yelped out loud because my partner asked me what was wrong. He probably shouldn’t have asked, because I’ve just chewed his ear off for the last 40 minutes about what I’ve worked out. All the twists and turns. Every single one. He’s probably feeling a little travel sick.
He did say to me, do you think this may be too complicated? It’s good, but do you think you may be throwing too much at your reader? To be honest, yes probably. But it’s the only way the story works. And it has to work. It has to be finished!
And it really is too late to worry now if my story is too complicated. I remember reading that you should make your first novel simple. Really simple. Because it’s a new skill and we can’t expect new writers to do complicated stories well.
Well, shit. Like I said, too late. My novel is very complicated. There’s lots of layers and people and stories and time frames. But that’s just how it came to me. And I have to get it out.
I’m just glad I now know for sure how I can wrap it all up. I just hope that the wrapping paper is pretty enough for my readers to want to open it, and continue unwrapping the many layers until they reach the gift inside. The gift of my story. It’s come from a place deep inside and it’s delivered with love.
Enough of the metaphors. I’ll save them for my book. But less cheesy, I promise. Where was I? Eureka! Now, I really must calm down, so I can get some sleep tonight.