Thursday, 1 January 2015

Swimming through treacle

You know what I'm finding hard with regard to writing this novel?

Most things, really. Nothing about it is very easy.

Specifically, I'm finding it hard to sort out the structure. The way the story hangs - how to tell it. How to entwine backstory and the present day, and how to weave together the main character and the supporting cast. I am very aware that I'm probably making untold mistakes in my language, my baggy dialogue and flowery description and scene-setting, but worries about such things come much later. At the moment, I need a framework. I need to order the degrees on my protractor, so to speak.

It isn't easy.

Not that I'm complaining, you understand. I can't think of anything else I want to do, which makes the days when it feels like swimming through treacle a lot easier to manage. I can take myself off to read a novel written by someone else free of any guilt by telling myself that I want to learn how they did it; how it should be done.

It doesn't help that much. Nobody seems to be telling a story like mine. This conclusion strikes me as three things:

1. Tremendously arrogant. Surely there is nothing new under the sun. There must be many stories like mine out there, it's just that I haven't found them. I am clearly not sufficiently widely read and therefore ill-equipped to attempt to create a novel of my own.

2. Very dangerous. If nobody has written a story like mine, then a publisher isn't going to have anything to compare it with, and it's hard to discern what sort of genre it might belong to. Maybe it has indeed been done before, and nobody particularly wanted to read it?

3. A bit encouraging. Maybe I have something new to say? Perhaps there's something original about it after all?

I find that I am thinking about my story so much and so often, regularly waking in the night to write down an idea for scene or a bit of dialogue, that it all seems a bit hackneyed by now. I can no longer tell whether it's even original, let alone unusual or attention-grabbing. I am so familiar with my ideas that I don't know if it's any good at all. I thought I had a good idea, but then sometimes I'm not so sure.

Well, that's one thing I'm finding difficult.  Just one.

No comments:

Post a Comment