Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Some serious writing commences- Novel update #1

Now that the prologue and chapter one have been completed, I had the idea of keeping a sort of diary, a blogdate if you will, of how the novel is progressing. This is for the reasons that I can share with those of you who are reading this in how it is going and also that I can sit back and reflect on my work in pride, though I am  merely 5,000 words in with 75,000 to go...

I have to admit that the prospect of writing something as gargantuous as a novel was first of all exciting. To be able to hold an actual book of some density and say I DID THIS! was the immediate appeal. The idea of creating a story for someone to read, characters to divulge into and provide a revolutionary book of deep meaning and purpose,yada yada yada... that was nice but not all too important at the time.

It was not until I began writing chapter one that nerves began to kick in like a kick in the bollocks. Both painful and unnecessary.

Chapter 1 is done!(ish).

The first draft of chapter 1 is done. It has been sent off to the guy who's given me the opportunity to do this for his feedback and redrafting. Though this is not to say that it was as easy as sitting down and typing away.

To summarise...

700 words in I restarted. 300 words into the second attempt I thought it was all crap and deleted it. On the third attempt I followed the pattern of a novel of the same genre and it off started much better. Then everything started to go inside out, inside in, outside in and outside out,

Tense began to confuse me, words began to confuse and life became a big disappointing piece of shit when I realised that writing something like this was not going to come out of me like air. Every word I typed seemed wrong. My description felt cheap and cliche. The way I hit the keys on the keyboard felt wrong. And all this in the first chapter!

I felt demotivated and stupid. As if I shouldn't have taken on this project. But I laboured on and eventually finished it.

I was happier with it than I imagined. It started to read like a novel and something a little greater than my previously thought skill level. So before I started to question what I had done, I gave it a quick once over for spelling etc and deemed it was ready to send. Happy with my resilience and first breakdown recovery.

When it came to clicking to send, I was terrified and hesitant. More than sending off any piece of coursework I have done at university where things such as a plagiarism, failure, embarrassment or some other life threatening result could occur. And even though I knew I was sending it to someone who would give me quality feedback and do it in such a manner that I wouldn't collapse emotionally and destroy every piece of creative work I have ever done, I still felt an air of pessimism as it came up with 'Sent'.

Almost immediately he replied saying that he would get round to reading it in the next couple of days when he found some time and that he was greatly looking forward to it.

I was happy with this, knowing I could rest my mind from the novel for a couple days and focus on doing nothing.

However, to my surprise, two hours later he emailed me again.

His name popped up on my phone and a sense of dread filled me, not knowing why he felt the need to email me again.

Thinking the worst, I read on.

'Matt. Couldn't resist it and had to read it tonight. My first impression - I love it! Really well done.'

I cannot begin to describe the relief felt and looking back, I did not have any particular reason to be really worried. I had sent him my best work and with all my effort put into it. But I always prepared myself for the worst so that anything above this would lift me into a cloud of complete ecstasy.

I was and am still on that cloud.

My writing style was correct. My understanding of what he wanted was bang on. My added story fillers worked. Everything was spot on.

I now am awaiting for his feedback, which he promised would be minor, so that I can alter it to final copy. Then within the next couple of days I will begin chapter two. A chapter I am now far more confident about approaching.

 So to conclude I have finally taken the first major step. Now it's time for me to learn to jog.

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