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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Right Story For Now

For the last few days (amid power cuts and ahead of a supervisor meeting for my latest PhD work) I've been a little bit dissatisfied with the story I'd decided to work on now I've finished the fifth draft of 'Danni' (check here for a list of all my major writing projects). A few weeks ago I detailed my plans for both PhD work and writing and I was going to finish the latest first draft I started ('Izzy') and go from there. That's the one I've suddenly become dissatisfied with. I love the protagonist but honestly don't think it's the right story for me to be working on at the moment. So I cast my eyes over the four first drafts that need work to decide which one I should tackle.

I settled on 'Liz'. In my description of this in my list of writing projects I said: One first draft finished and I have decent plans for the second. Obviously needs beefing up a little at 55,000 words but this one did start out as a novella so... Turns out those 'decent plans' are a bit more complete than I gave myself credit for. Once I finally located my notebook (it was hiding, I swear it was) I realised that I'd done more work on this last summer than I remembered.

All I thought I'd done was map the main changes that needed to occur and write just over 2000 words of the second draft before giving up to rewrite 'Lily'. Apparently not. I have a scene-by-scene breakdown of the changes and enhancements that need to be made in every scene. It was like walking into a sweet shop with a penny in my pocket and seeing a shiny pound coin on the floor waiting for me to spend it. I can't believe I'd forgotten all these notes. Well, actually, I can since my memory's turning into a short-stay car park as far as important facts are concerned.

Anyhow, I added a few hundred words to this novel last night and I'm excited about it. I think I've found the project I should be working on at the moment and, power cuts permitting, I'll carry on with it as best I can. Of course, I do have to adhere to my PhD schedule, finish organising and give a paper at a colloquium, deal with my declining grandmother and - perhaps - take some time out at the end of July to celebrate my birthday. All looking a little packed again, isn't it? Definitely time to consider tapping my troubles away...

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