about writing and life and God

Diving-in time!

NaNoWriMo sounds like a great idea if you’ve been lurking on the launchpad but not diving into getting that book written. Unfortunately it won’t work for me. My Work in Progress is very much in progress with around 35,000 words already written so I am disqualified from having a go at NaNoWriMo this year. Maybe next year!

This year I have to get the tangles untangled before I have to stop to honour my contract for a non-fiction book, due to be delivered end-December. But the tangles have been annoying me. I felt I had written myself to a dead stop.

Which meant I had forced my characters to behave out of character.

Which meant I didn’t know them well enough.

So I’ve spent some time chewing over who I’d got wrong. And it’s Granny Leslie. Maryanne. She’s a bitter old besom, as they say where I come from. But why?

The answer came in church on Sunday. Something in the sermon leapt out and I was grubbing in my handbag for that notebook you always carry with you (yes?). And the note was made: ‘a baby with someone other than his wife’. Mmm, maybe a bit edgy for a Christian-market novel. But I note that CBA novels have become less sweetie-sweet and much more ‘real’. So I needed to test that thought.

And as I spent some time with Maryanne, I fathomed out her story. The reasons for her bitterness. Most of all exactly why she was so outraged when her daughter chose for her husband… the son of the man who had slighted her! Ah yes, it’s all beginning to come together again.

But first, back to the drawing board – which for me is the timeline: adding the two new names, Maryanne’s ex-fiance and the girl who stole him from her. Seeing who was where when at every stage of the story. And it all makes sense.

I have an upstairs study with a wall of bookshelves, my internet-connected laptop, printer, copier, stationery cupboard etc. Here I write this blog, work on my Sunday services, make phone calls… But I’ve taken over the dining-room for the novel. The table is strewn with paper as I work on my timelines, handwrite character studies, check out books for necessary facts.

And there at the moment the other laptop lurks. Untouched for a while.

But soon and very soon, I’m going to have to take the plunge – despite no NaNoWriMo to incite me!

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