As you may know, I'm currently in the process of writing (well, editing) my debut novel. Editing a novel you wrote about eight or nine years ago is tough. Looking at it from the viewpoint of a person who is now in a totally different place in life is really interesting, but hugely challenging - a lot more challenging than I thought it would be actually.
"Yeah, I'll just give that old novel a quick little edit and then I'll have a new book!"
I've been mainly focussed on two things, which were the reason I didn't do anything with the story, despite having finished it a long time ago; I felt that two of the main characters just weren't quite right. If you heard me speaking on the Library Laura podcast (you can listen to my discussion with her here), you'll know that the husband of the main character is one I feel I just didn't get right. It's interesting to me to think that at the time of writing the novel, I was in a relationship with someone I'm no longer with and that we weren't right for each other. Perhaps without realising, elements of that relationship seeped into my story. Having now had more life experience and other relationships, I can see much more clearly how to fix this issue.
But mainly at the moment, I'm really trying to get the opening chapters right. In fact, I'm still not completely satisfied with the first chapter. I surprised myself when I read further chapters and discovered that there are some really good parts to the story, good writing and hopefully an engaging story with interesting characters. But getting to that point has been tricky. Maybe I should put that difficult first chapter away for now and come back to it later...
Enjoying this process, which is turning out to be very insightful and I feel I'm learning a lot about myself as a writer and as a person. Maybe I should write another novel now and go back to it in about ten years again!
Today's editing has mainly consisted of deleting over a thousand words... deleting, it seems, is another form of writing... maybe...
Hitting the "delete" button on a big part of the story I've been so familiar with was a difficult decision, but I feel it will allow me to escape the chains of previously written words and rewrite the story through the eyes of a person who has grown a little more. It's an exciting time.
I can't say when the book will be out yet but I will say that I'm aiming for roughly spring/start of summer. I'm also not revealing too much about the plot just yet, or the title. I've had a good title in mind for many years but sadly, two people have now written books with the same title! It's just one word, so I guess it was going to happen sooner or later but I'm now internally debating changing it. We'll see...
Right, I'm going back into editing now. More updates to come soon.