Saturday, 27 August 2011

An (aspiring) writer's guilt

I feel guilty because …

I didn’t write enough today and went for a walk with the kids.

I spent most of yesterday on the computer typing away, ignoring the children or pretending to listen to their stories, and making a great fuss about their drawings or papier maché sculptures without really looking at them.

Sometimes I don't really listen to people. I smile, but my head is full of others stuff, you know, important things like 'Should she have her tantrum now? Should he kiss her now or later? And what about that treasure map hidden in the palace?'

I spent too long looking at my favourite fashion websites instead of getting that chapter written.

I fudged some of the research in my story, because it was easier that way. If the journey takes a few days less than it should, if that particular event happened a few years later, surely it won't matter too much. Will it?

I haven’t talked to my friends in a long time. They must think I’d rather live in a fantasy of my own making than in the real world.

I went mad and bought far too many books in that great second hand bookshop in Southport on Monday, but it's all for research, of course.

I spent hours looking at maps, studying fascinating but totally irrelevant treatises and copying beautiful old poems. All of which I don’t think I’ll ever use.

I was so taken by a twist in my plot that I forgot all about the pork steaks under the grill and we all had to eat really tough meat tonight. So tough my little girl lost another of her milk teeth. That makes four teeth in two weeks.

Because I …

Any more guilt?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Several Stories on the go? Does it work for you?

For the first time ever, I am writing two historical novels set in different periods at the same time. One I’d started a few months ago but had come to a complete standstill with. I simply ran out of - I don’t know what ... not ideas exactly, but I seemed to have lost touch with my characters. I couldn’t hear their voices or picture them as clearly as before.   

At the same time, new characters literally sprung out to life and a plot started taking shape in my mind for a new story. At first I pushed them all aside. It wasn’t time yet. I had to finish the story I’d started first. 

Had to? Who said?

May be I needed a break. If I left the story alone for a few weeks, I might come back to it refreshed and able to see and feel what I couldn't see or feel any longer.

So I opened the door to new characters, new sceneries, new sensations...

I don’t know if I was right, but I am really enjoying my new characters and their antics. Funnily enough, the ‘old ones’ have come back to whisper a few changes. Well, major changes, actually. Like cut out one storyline completely and rework the heroin and her relationship to the hero.

So now I am pulled between the two stories, two periods, two countries and there are not enough hours in the day (or night).