|Making cakes is a great displacement |
activity from writing!
Photo Ardfern, Wikimedia Commons.
Part of me is itching to write! Another part is groaning, because I know that the next three or four months are going to be frustrating to the point of head-banging.
Why? It seems to take me an age to settle on a good idea, create and get to know my characters, add in the kind of complexity I like in my books, go off down half a dozen blind alleys, rename the main characters, change the plot ... well, you get the picture.
I envy writers like fellow NPoV blogger Jennifer Young, who comes up with loads of great plots with apparent ease! For me, it's hell.
'Just relax and the ideas will come,' I'm told. Wrong. Just relax and I'll find myself making cakes, seeing friends, watching telly, going for walks – all very pleasant, but not contributing much to the ideas pot.
Having said that, of course, those great dinners with friends, all those places visited on walks, or city breaks, or holidays, provide lots of material for characters and locations, and I know my writing would be poorer without them. But still, I'm like a dog with bone - I get hold of an idea, then have to worry away at it, turn it that way and this, chew it over, rearrange its shape and structure, until it's finally something I'm happy to embark on.
My recent experience of preparing my books for Amazon taught me that a great one-paragraph blurb, combined with a two-line trailer really focuses the attention on the core of the story. I was determined not to move on to developing the idea until I got these two elements honed to perfection. After all, they will be the teasers that will intrigue readers and draw them to my book. The trouble is, what seems a good idea on Day One, somehow seems to have shifted by the time I get to Month Six!
I do have the beginnings of an idea. I think I'll note it down and put it in a sealed envelope somewhere safe. Remind me to look at it again in six months and I'll confess just how close/adrift the novel is by then!
Please tell me there are others out there who struggle with this first part of a new book too!