I have spent the last few days rewriting the synopsis for my current work-in-progress.
Like with everything else involved in writing a novel, the deeper you go the harder it gets.
Three and a half years ago, although not for the best of reasons, I found myself in the position where I was free to write all day.
It was fun. Pure joy. An ebullient feeling as the purple patches just keep on coming. Years worth of words and plot lines that had been trapped inside my head, poured on to my hard drive as fast as my fingers could type them.
Fellow WordPress writer and blogger, Will Pennington, compares that wonderful euphoric writer’s zone to a ‘runner’s high’.
‘…where your feet don’t seem to touch the ground, where your mind is floating and you don’t feel the beating your feet are taking or the hard breathing to maintain pace. Your head is in a cloud, your heart in your throat, and tears in your eyes.’
I wrote through the day as well as the night. I felt unstoppable and, after six months, I had told the whole story… in the first ten chapters.
Writing the first draft was a cathartic experience and I confess, I gave myself a slap myself on the back for ‘all the work‘ I had put into it. But you soon realise your prized first draft is just an nth of what the manuscript will become.
‘The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.’
Fast forward six months. I was sitting on a park bench in the sunshine with someone who I revered as with the creative writing coach and who so sadly lost her battle with illness early this year, Barbara Large. I told her, with a degree of pride, what my book was about (I have always struggled to precis it) and I had finished my fifth rewrite. Barbara processed the information for a few seconds, before responding.
‘But’s not enough.’
So since then, my work-in-progress became a Labour of love. I have invested hours, days, weeks and months making sure every twist and turn is revealed in exactly the right place, at the right time. I have spent days, rewording lines and paragraphs; crying over scenes; putting my heart and soul inside my characters. Editing is a time-consuming and laborious process.
We all learn by experience.
Will Pennington also commented on my last blog about my work in progress and just happened to mention that…
‘Writing your first novel is a labour of love.’
How right he is and I am constantly tweaking and revising my first born novel to make it more appetising for reader consumption.
If I don’t woo an agent or charm a publisher into taking my cast of characters on, I will feel I have let them all down.