It’s been a hard month, writing-wise. Lots of problems, and not many answers. You might have hit the same problems – how do you solve them?
The relationship web
I’ve been working on the novel and hit a snag. My previous novels were fairly simple in terms of characters and interrelationships: I never had to deal with the interactions between more than four or five people at once. But with this novel I have a cast of eleven key characters, nine of whom are all in the same community (a.k.a. church). And their relationships are continually changing during the story. That means at every plot point in the novel, I need to consider how these eleven are interacting, what they know of each other, what they think of each other, and also what they are doing in the ‘backstory’ while the main thread of the novel is elsewhere. Complicated or what! Maybe I’ve overreached myself: I’ve worked out that I have about twenty relationships to think about. So I did a Powerpoint slide. It won’t help, but it has enabled me to postpone writing for a while…
Character’s disobeying their author
Now this is an interesting thing! When your characters become so developed that they get minds of their own. When, I, as author, need to steer a particular conversation to a necessary point (in order to move the plot along), and the characters insist on talking about something else!! I really wish they wouldn’t do that.
Writing at five a.m. – good or bad?
The other thing, is I haven’t been sleeping too well, and have been awake for an hour or more around four, five a.m. So I tried writing. But I suspect it is drivel – I can’t tell. There is a marvellous quote from some writer (which I haven’t tracked down): ‘I know that about half of what I write is brilliant and half is rubbish. But I can’t tell which is which.” Too true.