What I’ve been doing
Shockingly beautiful day in Sydney today. Really. From the workday window it was all rippling blue loveliness and appalling picture-perfectness. It really ticked me off.
Speaking of. Lately I’ve been busy working full time and writing. The full-time work — though not to be in any way encouraged (whoever thought 5 days/week was a good idea for a day job was, to put it mildly, a complete fucking idiot) — it has come at a useful time. Not just for my bank account, though that’s been very, VERY useful, but also for my writing. I know. It doesn’t make sense, does it. But I cling to this perverse logic.
Right now the writing I’m doing is all that heavy-lifting complicated ‘reflective’ stuff. This is where you go through your manuscript a dozen times & come up with new, better ideas for the bits that don’t work, new scenes, new dialogue, new — frankly — pages and pages of notes. Mostly what I do with the new, better ideas & scenes & notes & so on is record them in notebooks (then remind myself to amalgamate all the notes into one notebook rather than keeping them spread across various notebooks — the result of having ‘the handbag book’ and ‘the daypack book’ and ‘the bedside table book’ and so on. Too many to name. And now that moleskines come in pink, well, I have a lot of little pink notebooks lying about, looking like the kinds of cheerful little notebooks you want to write stuff in). This has been excellent fun, quite free of rules or my own frustrated ideas on ‘productiveness’. Or ideals on productiveness, more to the point.
I haven’t yet added any of this new stuff to the manuscript, because the next bloody time I start typing, I want all my new ideas & notes & scenes & dialogues & — yes, as much new stuff as this — characters to present something cohesive. Something related to the themes of loss & self & subterfuge that I realise I’m writing to. Something, you know, with a bloody narrative. A story like the story I have in my head.
Tackling this many words at once has left me feeling disjointed. So until I can approach the manuscript as one cohesive novel with a story and characters and a point, it waits on a shelf. The pages are becoming increasingly dog-eared from multiple searching & reading, but that’s a good look for a manuscript.
Last week I realised why the final 1/3 of the manuscript isn’t working. The setting is crap. Accidentally I keep tipping into the kind of character or place or story or — it now transpires — setting that feels like someone should be saying ‘Verily, doth sayest thou? Fie!’ This is not the kind of book I want to write. Or, indeed, read. Multiple times. So, coming up with a setting that will interest *me*, the writer, & hopefully by extension you, the reader, is the latest challenge. These things keep me away from the blogosphere pretty much conclusively. But I’m still over at Twitter. Probably because Twitter is NOT reflective & complicated.
I thought I’d let you know.
How you been, anyway?