The Brick Wall

I’ve hit it. Thirty thousand words into book three and I’ve suddenly realised that everything I’ve written so far is absolute rubbish. I hate this novel. I hate the story. I hate the characters. I don’t know where I’m going. I can’t “feel” it. It’s no use. I’m giving up. Blah, blah, blah.

Gosh, I hate that damn brick wall. It’s easy to feel that I might as well just give up and not bother. It’s such hard work!  Anyone who says writing is easy is either a flipping liar or an utter genius. Either way they’re not somebody I’d want to be friends with.

The irony is, this is the book that was supposed to start the whole Kearton Bay series off. It was the first idea I came up with. The main characters were the first two I dreamed up – the ones  who popped into my head on that fateful journey to Somerset three years ago and started this whole thing off. They were the hero and heroine I thought were going to feature in Book One. Except, I decided to push them back and make their story a slower-growing one that lurked in the background of books one and two. Book Three is it – their moment. They’ve waited for it all this time and now the moment’s here they’re playing silly beggars.

I’m tempted to tell them to shove it. If they’re so ungrateful that they won’t take the opportunity I’m giving them they can easily be replaced. Or maybe they’ve told me to shove it? Maybe they’re sulking because I made them wait so long?  Maybe they’ve simmered for such a long time they’ve now gone off the boil? Maybe I’ve completely lost the plot given that I’m talking about them as if they’re real people?

I don’t know why it’s proving so difficult this time round. It was never this hard with the first two. Actually, that’s an outrageous lie. Now that I think about it, I’ve lost count of how many drafts I did of There Must Be An Angel. The one that’s currently being read by a couple more willing volunteers before I polish it yet again and send it to an editor is definitely NOT the one I wrote back in 2011. I sweated blood over that flaming book and nearly gave up on it many, many times. I think maybe I’ve been spoilt by Book Two which was easy. It just wrote itself. Actually, that’s another outrageous lie. When I look back at the old blog posts written when I was writing that first draft it becomes pretty clear that I struggled then, too. Apparently I couldn’t feel the love for my hero. What? Was I mad? He’s gorgeous and absolutely lovely in every way! But no, back then I didn’t get him, didn’t see a way to understand him or care about him. I can hardly believe that now…

So I suppose the moral of the story is, it’s always blooming hard work and I always think it’s never going to come right and I always want to give up. But somehow, I always get through it. And I will again.  I think the key to the whole thing is to do what I did for A Kiss From A Rose and sit down and chat to my two main characters. Especially my hero. I have to fall in love with my hero. Funnily enough, after that happens, writing suddenly becomes delightful all over again…;-)

Have a great week xx

Avoidance Tactics

Saturday morning dawned and I leapt out of bed, alert and eager to head to my study (aka the boxroom), switch on my computer, open up Scrivener and begin work on Book Three.

You see, this is why I write. My imagination knows no bounds. What actually happened on Saturday morning was that I lay in my cosy bed for simply ages, thinking that I really ought to get up and do some work because first thing in the morning is by far the best time for me to write and, goodness knows, I’ve not exactly written a great deal lately. Then I thought maybe I ought to make a cup of tea/feed the dog/let the dog out/check my emails/see what’s happening on Facebook/browse through the new book that’s just arrived in the post/read the next novel on my huge to-be-read pile…you get my drift.

I’ve had a break from the novel writing for a few weeks. I finished A Kiss from a Rose and sent it off to the NWS back in June. Early June. Then I set to work writing a short story for the forthcoming Write Romantics’ charity anthology (you can get a sneak peek here if you want to!) and then I did a tiny bit of editing on There Must Be An Angel and read it yet again. Then I did some blog posts, played around with the blog, and added lots of pictures to Pinterest. But Book Three? Nope.

I did make a few notes. I jotted some ideas down. I knew who my characters were, where they’ll start and where they’ll finish and roughly what sort of things will happen along the way, but I hadn’t made any detailed writing plan and, more importantly, I hadn’t started that first draft. Why?

As I lay there, clutching the duvet to me and trying to force myself to at least start the next instalment in The Kearton Bay Chronicles (my nickname for the series I’m writing) I wondered what it was that was making me so reluctant. And there it was, that little voice. The voice that bugs me constantly and never seems to have anything kind to say to me.

“What if you can’t do it again?”

Well, quite. It’s perfectly possible, I suppose. But then, if I’d listened to that voice I would never have signed up for NaNoWriMo or joined the RNA NWS or started this blog or opened a Facebook page or anything else that I’ve done in the last couple of years, because that voice has been in my ear the whole blooming time and, frankly, it’s getting on my nerves.

So I made that cup of tea, let the dog out, fed her and then headed to my room and switched on my computer and began to write. And I managed four scenes, so that’s not too bad for a first day.

Sunday morning dawned and I headed to my room, determined and eager to start the next scene. Except, I needed to check something out on Google, and before I knew it I’d opened my emails, which led to me sorting out my Google Plus account (which I’d apparently opened a while ago and can’t for the life of me remember anything about, which meant I had to research that, too!) Then I opened WordPress to add a Google widget and that led me to messing around with my blog again and then I kept checking back on Facebook and flicking backwards and forwards between all these open tabs and now I’m too tired to even think about writing. So…

I’ve written this blog post and – by the miracle of technology – it should, fingers crossed, appear on Monday morning, by which time I will be at work in the day job, putting in my ten hours and not thinking about writing at all (honest, boss!) *innocent whistle*. Then, on Tuesday morning I shall get up early and put in at least three hours on the novel before work, and I shall do that every single day until draft one is complete. And I’ve set myself a deadline. Draft one, book three will be finished by November 1st. Yes, of course I mean this year. I’m not that bad!

Here we go again then…

Have a great week xx