Well, ain’t this nice? Holed up in our bedroom and leaning back on our pillows, B on a call with the bank, me blogging. It’s a glorious morning, bright and sunny, and I really fancy taking my coffee out on the balcony and have a cigarette (yes, yes – we’re meant to quit AGAIN today) but B’s youngest is asleep in the livingroom and I don’t want to wake him. The older is in Monkey’s bedroom and the younger relocated after complaining his brother breathes too loudly. Actually finding it quite hard to write with B’s call going on. Normally we’re both in the dining room, and for whatever reason it doesn’t bother me, but I think it’s quieter in here, plus B is right next to me chatting away with what seems to be someone who is on autopilot in some call centre.
I have two weeks off – one of many perks of working at a school. I’ve decided to use these two weeks to knock out hopefully a third of a revised draft of Alice. I’ve suffered writer’s block since I had the feedback from the editor back in November, which is pure stupidity. Why on earth this happened I just don’t know. They said it’s got huge potential, is commercially sound and marketable, the plot is solid and my writing good. Just need to cut a couple of characters out that were crowding the story, and polish up some sections to show the story rather than just tell it. I’m well aware that ‘show, not tell’ is one of my weaknesses as a writer – my natural style is some form of inner monologue, my own observations and thoughts, so I need to focus on creating the image and feelings rather than outline them.
Luckily, just like during my last ‘slump’ in the summer, it’s all cooked away in my mind, perculating whilst my hands have been idle, so – although easier said than done – I really just need to make myself START. Once I have, I’ve no doubt it’ll all start to flow again.
The hook comes straight away, so that first short prologue can pretty much remain as I wrote it the first time around, but the first five chapters need a complete overhaul. John has to be introduced with more nuances and scenes, and I’ve decided to have him move in rather than having lived in the flat next to Alice’s since the 70s. It makes more sense anyway, given how he would have been much too recognisable back in the 70s to have got away with living in a densely populated city like London. Ah, the mysterious John. I found the perfect image of him, as it happens, and I think I might print it off and stick on the wall in the dining room (where I usually work, as opposed to in bed, like this morning when we have a full house) to keep me on track. Perhaps he’ll seem more real if I do. And perhaps I should scour the internet to find people and images that correspond how I’ve pictured Alice, Tom and Monica too? Then add some photos of and around Falla?
Two weeks of giving Alice my full attention should give it all a much needed push forward again.
And perhaps I should go back to using this blog the way it was set up in the beginning – as a tool to get me writing: set the timer for 20 minutes first thing every morning and just write anything that pops into my head, even if it’s just shite. To be fair, in the beginning I really did think it’d be just that (shite) but I quickly discovered it was enjoyable to just spill my thoughts out and quite often I found I really liked what I’d written.
No time like the present!