I get asked that a lot and to tell the truth, it’s been a bit of struggle.
I have been flailing around in the muddy middle of the book for what seems like months. Back in November I got off to a flying start, piggybacking on the momentum of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month–look it up, it’s definitely a thing). I got about half way through the month and halfway to the target of 50,000 words and then hit a wall. Admittedly the wall was in the shape of a second hand tinny.
I spent December putting electrics in the boat and took it on a couple of fishing trips. Then it was Christmas holidays and family beach time. After everyone went away at the end of January I spent more time working on the boat and catching flathead in the lake and the river. All this time, though, I was still thinking. Thinking, thinking, thinking–it still counts as writing, even when you are fishing, I checked with the union.
Eventually I decided I was trying to tell the wrong story. So I killed someone off, promoted someone else and re-jigged the timeline. Then I made a lightning trip to Lightning Ridge, driving the length of the state to do some research. Came home and re-wrote the start. It felt good. But now I’m back in the middle, where I left off, wondering what comes next: writing bits and pieces without any confidence, and not moving the story forward. Researching stuff I don’t really need: I know a lot about poisons now.
And now we have the builders in–renovating the kitchen and bathroom. We have moved downstairs to the studio while this is going on. So there are plenty of distractions and excuses for procrastination: lots of power tools, lots of blokey conversations to eavesdrop on, and plenty of decisions to be made.
You sure you want the tap over there? I mean we can do it, if it’s what you want…
But this morning in bed, listening to the wattlebirds chortling in the dark, I had another hard think about the book and decided what the problem was. I don’t really know where I’m going, not really. I need a destination. A couple of key set-piece scenes and a finale will give me something to aim at. So I will write those next, then having created some waypoints and a safe harbour I will return to the soggy quagmire in the middle and set sail once more.
That’s the theory.
How is your Sunday going?