To make matters worse, this morning I read the first page of a novel my editor sent me (also about 1066 - which is vaguely the point at which my novel is heading to) and it seemed so much more lyrical than my own writing - which opened up another load of worries about my writing. Am i a good enough writer?
The weekend's arrival meant I had to give up on the novel as it was, and sat on the ferry and read a book: and it gave me all kinds of ideas for how to push on through this problem. I seem to remember the other novels being like this, higher and harder hurdles to keep jumping, which challenge you in all manner of ways, and some of the jumps you make, and some of them you have to keep taking run-ups to. And some of them you have to just give up on, and come back the next day and see if there is another way round. Giving up and reading another book does seem like a great way through problems - because there's no other option than to work out a solution.
I suppose the other solution is to give up, and this has always struck me as the difference between published and non-published writers. Published writers dont give up. And heh, we all start off as amateurs.
The problem is I have a pet theory that our strenghts and weaknesses as a writer stem from our strenghts and weaknesses of personality: which then lands me in all kinds of personal angst when I'm feeling my writing is inadequate.
Notes to self:
- Create some scenes for the minor characters: which will hopefully take some pressure off the main story line, and also give me some alternative storylines to explore, as well as adding depth to the canvas the main character is on
- Go back and brain storm motivations for the characters at this point in the story. What is their greatest fear at this point?
- Landscape: try and tie these in more closely to the mood and the subtexts in the plot
- Prise out interesting conflicts: is my list of main characters too limiting?
- Read Renault for inspiration from a master
- re-read the whole book so far
- read something inspirational! (*the green knight or heaney's beowulf)
- Explore character's motivations and add as much flesh as possible
- Read Thomas Hardy's poetry
Note to self when reading other people's work:
- how to make characters empathetic
- how to convey a sense of love/affection for home and people and country