I've just read the blog I wrote back in January, and sit here shamefaced as I realise just how long ago that was. I haven't got very far with this latest book, in fact, I have to confess I've been dithering a lot - until yesterday.
The biggest problem for an author is where to start. The story is there, the characters rounded out and so real I can almost see them. I have a beginning, a middle and an end - but where do I begin? At the beginning? At the end? In the middle? Years before, or after? It's a conundrum that authors down the ages have battled with.
So I started the book. I wrote four chapters, didn't like them and scrapped them. I wrote three more and felt better about those, but I still wasn't happy with the prologue - which actually wasn't a prologue, but something set several years after the beginning - come on, keep up there at the back. I know what I mean!
Anyway, until yesterday I have had to deal with my daughter leaving England for Thailand and Australia with plans to find work in Oz and perhaps stay there. I've had a broken hearted carpenter telling me his woes, and his girlfriend telling me hers. I'm thinking of having a new career as an Agony Aunt - it seems all my friends are either broke, unhappy, unwell or splitting up from their other halves - or worse, all four things at once! The recession has a great deal to answer to if you ask me - and I do wish people wouldn't ask me anything - not now, not when I'm wrestling with this book.
Ho, hum, I hear you say - boring, boring. Just get on and right the darn thing. What can be so difficult? Okay, you could be right, but if the book isn't right, then I'm not happy, and will remain in that state until I've figured out what to do.
Books are like giant jigsaw puzzles, spread over an enormous table. All the pieces are there, the author just has to put them in the correct place. I find talking helps. Talking is one of the things I do most, so it has to have something good about it. To talk over the problem, to air my fears, my doubts and the strands of each story is an enormous help - and the more I talk, the closer to a solution I come.
EUREKA!!!!!!!!!!!! I finally talked myself into the solution, and HEY PRESTO, I'm writing like the wind. The pages are filling up, the story is flowing, and THANK GOODNESS, I can stop getting in a panic.
Wish me luck - I'll be busy for a few weeks now - happily writing.