Sunday, 1 February 2009

I love it when a plan comes together... and hate it when it doesn't!

A writerly based blog today

As a new month dawns so does the cold realisation that the novel I’ve been working on isn’t the novel I should be working on right now.
I’ve come to this conclusion as a result of the recent re-write I’ve just completed on my last novel, (still currently titled “You had me at Ronan Keating...” and still being decided on by the publishers, so no news there!) I realised after going back to this novel how much more I’d enjoyed writing this, and how, for many reasons, I was finding the new one I was working on much more of a struggle to complete. However, not being the type of person to give up on anything without a fight I’d struggled on thinking it would get better. Or perhaps, to write a better next book I had to find writing it more of a challenge.
The niggling doubt that perhaps I might not be doing the right thing in continuing, was not helped by lots of new ideas for plotlines and characters continually popping into my head for another future novel I'd had an inkling of an idea for recently. So, after some good advice from my agent, I have come to the conclusion that by putting this novel aside for a while, I’m not quitting and giving up on it, it’s just a novel that needs to wait a while until it’s the right time for me to write it. It will happen eventually (it had better I did an awful lot of research for it!) just not now, it’s obviously not the right time. The right time will come, and I know it will, because it’s a great idea for a novel. Well I think so anyway ;-)
So now I’m going to write what I really want to write at the moment, what seems to be calling out to me to be written, and most importantly what I know I’m going to enjoy writing.
This will take me right back to square one in an author’s creative process – the planning and researching stage of writing a book. This is one of my favourite parts, but I know some authors that hate it.
I’ve never been short of ideas – I think it comes from being an only child; I had (and still do have) a very active imagination! And quite often the research stage throws up even more ideas for characters and plotlines you’d never even considered before, and that’s what’s fantastic about it, that feeling of (to quote the late Mr George Peppard when he was in The A-Team) “loving it when a plan comes together.’
When you finally piece together all the parts of the story you’re going to write.

I won’t tell you what I’m researching, but it’s an eclectic mix that’s involving me amongst other things re-watching a 1970’s and a 1990’s BBC sitcom, and re-reading several children’s story books I read to my children when they were young...
How do I get a novel out of that? Well you’ll just have to wait and see ;-)

Other happenings since I last wrote? Well I said I was going to blog about reality TV shows but Celebrity Big Brother disappointingly failed to ignite the post Christmas TV schedules this year, and I came to Dancing on Ice as an ice skating virgin, but exited disappointed shortly after the third ‘celebrity’ had skidded precariously across the floor with their partner. So I’m down to the bare basics of Eastenders four times a week at the moment and not a lot else – but even the usual comfort and familiarity of Albert Square is leaving me feeling bereft since the departure of the lovely Robert Kazinsky as Sean Slater at New Year.

Ah well it gives me more time for catching up on my reading, and of course writing and researching that new novel...

Oh, I had a Birthday in January too.

Check out the very writerly cake I was surprised with. It tasted as good as it looked!

Till the next time,

A x


Samantha Tonge said...

Happy Birthday, Ali!''Ooh, I'm curious about your new book...

Hmm, i'm not sure about going back to old projects, although yours are probably way better than mine. Someone who knows what they're talking about once said to me that if you keep rewriting the same project, you will reach a point where your writing is not evolving as it is boxed in my your past efforts. I think it's important to know when to move on to a new project.

Sounds like your agent has given you some sound advice,though.

Sam x

Ali said...

Hi Sam,
I think the difference with this one was it was a bit too ambitious for me if anything at the moment, and might be something I'd be better tackling later on in my writing career (should I ever be lucky enough to have one!)
Like your hair by the way. It's been a while since I've seen you in anything but your facebook photo ;-)

Samantha Tonge said...

Er, i've just had it cut short again! And dyed blonde! I like yours dark for change.

Honestly, what are us fickle women like:)