I love books. I’ve got piles on the floor because I’ve run out of shelves. I have a ‘to read’ pile by my bed which is toppling over. I am in and out of the library so often that the librarians all know me by name. But I’m going to post about my attempts to write a book. (I have written a non-fiction book, under a pen-name, but that was more of an extended copywriting job than a literary endeavour).
I started writing a novel last June. Not with any view to publication – just because the characters leapt into my head and lived there, fully formed. I found myself writing and before I knew it, I had five thousand words… seven thousand… nine thousand… I felt I knew the characters intimately. I knew what scent some of them wore. I knew what wine they drank. I knew about their parents, their politics and where they went to university. I knew that one of them had a cat called Jasper that her landlord didn’t know about. None of this made it into the story – it was just stuff I knew about these people who seemed as real to me as my own friends. Then, when I had about twelve thousand words, it stopped. I thought it was just a hiatus, but there’s been nothing. I haven’t written a word of my novel for more than eight months.
I don’t really know what to do. There seems no point in forcing it, but on the other hand, the idea of abandoning these people feels wrong and makes me sad. I want to finish the story but have no idea how to do it. I wonder how many characters lurk in notebooks and computer hard drives, waiting for their stories to be finished? And I wonder if mine will ever be rescued.
Here are the other Weekworders:
Carmen is our next host. I look forward to her word!