Well, I’ve finally got there… after about 21 months I’ve finished the ‘first draft’ of my novel. I’ve put that in quotations, because while it is complete – meaning it has a beginning, middle and end – it’s not complete. It’s still full of notes and there’s quite a lot of stuff at the beginning that was written over a year ago that needs altering or taking out to reflect how the story progressed. It needs editing too. And polishing. And… well everything, it just needs a total makeover, but at least it’s there, a solid chunk of clay in the rough shape of a human being, I just need to start molding now.
That won’t be for a while though. It’s probably quote common for a writer to feel excited about jumping back in without having a break, but not me. This novel has been a fucking bitch to write. There have been numerous times when I’ve felt like I’ve been doing it for the wrong reasons. As if I’ve been doing it just to see if I could, or to make people think I’m a smarty pants with the complex plot. Maybe these are common feelings for writers. I’ve also felt a lot like writing novels just isn’t me, but maybe that’s me looking at the industry of books and the idea of the typical novelist, because when it comes down to it… I love ideas, I love stories and characters, and I love writing them down. That’s all it should be about.
One main obstacle about this book was writing about a police detective working for the Metropolitan Police. I don’t know a thing about police work, let alone London. I read a lot, but never felt it was enough. My friend’s dad is a 25+ year detective, so he was a good person to go to with questions, but the other issue was that this wasn’t a typical detective novel. I don’t do typical. It was about a DI who worked in a High Tech Crime Unit, something I know even less about, and so did my friend’s dad. Perhaps laziness played a part in my research. It can all still be salvaged, I’m talking like I’m not going to properly finish this thing, but I will be taking a break for a couple of months at least… because I’m writing a play.
The play idea I came up with a while ago, but it’s a comedy, its main impetus is a competition run by Liverpool Hope Uni, which has a deadline of 30th May, but it’s win-win, because if I don’t win I’m going to finance and direct it myself. Possibly even star in it too. I’ve fleshed out the plot and characters, and only started writing the script this week, but it feels SO much easier to write than a novel. I feel like I could write the thing in one sitting.
Maybe that’s a bad thing.