It’s true. Things fall apart. For instance, I was working away on a nice shinny book, ‘Set You Free’ and then it totally fell apart. It wasn’t that I hadn’t planned it properly or had not considered every angle or I got bored or tired or lazy, it was that I’d been, since page one, writing the thing in 2 very wrong ways (for me).
Wrong way 1. third person. There is nothing wrong with third person. It does many people very well. I am working on a different book now in 3rd person (which is potentially another problem. I work on too many things at once. Focus, Jeff, Focus!)Where was I?
Oh, yes, third person. It’s difficult and far too often unnecessary. But the reason I decided on 3rd rather than 1st is problem 2.
Problem 2) the book is told from a teenage girl’s point of view. Which I can totally do. I think. But i was avoiding all the things that would make this book interesting because I AM NOT AND HAVE NEVER BEEN A TEENAGE GIRL. I can imagine it, but the issue with Set You Free was that the topics were very much the thoughts of a teenage girl and (see above).
Which meant 3) It fell apart. I avoided more than I put in. Luckily there’s this nice boy in the book who is a strong character and has a real voice and who I can totally write. So I will. From page 1 re-write? Sure. Change of everything but the plot? Yes. Changes in plot? Yes, many.
The ferret and Furry book is still kicking around. I still love the characters and the things they do. It has its problems as well. Big problems. But, problems I feel I can fix. Maybe.
In other news… No, actually, that’s about it. A couple of books that didn’t quite work out the way I wanted them to. But we fail and fail again, and these books only get better. Markus Zusak’s been working on that Bridge of Clay for a decade now. A decade! I wonder what it is he’s doing with that book. From a writer’s point of view, that is. Has he written it a dozen times from page one? Is he endlessly changing words then changing them back again? Is he using different characters, mapping out different routes? What?
I fear I might find this out myself as I plow through these books again. I guess, when you feel as if things aren’t working, you’re probably right. Or if you think that something is almost there but there’s something ‘off’ it’s likely right. Trust yourself is the theme of the day.
Ok. Back to writing.
Oh, and I still owe Alex Van Tol a chapter on the book we’re working on together. Though that is just pure fun. Which means I should just do it. But then… Sigh. http://www.alexvantol.com/