Far too long without an update- naughty sen, to your bed.
The last week or so has been quite a difficult one writing-wise. When I sat down to start on the new project I was immediately met with a big fat problem, namely, whether or not to write it in the first person. While I was finishing Bad Apple Bone and this project was beginning to form in my mind, I always imagined it to be in the first person. I wanted to try writing an entire book in that style, mainly because when I've done it in short stories I've found it quite enjoyable, and a couple of my favourite writers almost always write in the first person- namely John Connolly and Michael Marshall Smith.
So when it came to the first day of writing, I sat down all ready with my character's voice and the opening scene and... I completely dried up. It felt terribly forced and awkward, and I didn't like it. Mostly, the character just sounded like me. Like me writing a book. This was not what I had planned at all, and even worse, my brain was already re-writing the chapter in the third person. I was crippled with indecision- should I soldier on with my original plan, despite how wrong it felt, or abandon most of my plans for the book and keep to my usual style?
In the end, I did the only sensible thing and wrote the chapter in both the first and third, to see how they compared (this was, by the way, an incredibly painful thing in itself. I am really fucking lazy you see, and writing the same bit twice drove me up the wall). I couldn't help noticing how much easier the words came though, and how much more enjoyable it was the second time around.
So I think I've learnt some things from this:
1) You can't pick a style of writing just because you like the sound of it and because you admire people who do it well- it may simply be inappropriate for the project.
2) I've spent two years on Bad Apple Bone essentially learning how to write (successfully or not I cannot say) and that was in the third person. Perhaps I should use what I've learnt, and carry on improving as much as I can.
3) There will be another time for a big first person story. Yes there will. Possibly in one huge mad rush in November.
I'm on to the second chapter now, the characters are getting to talk to each other and I'm finding out strange things about them. There are lots of juicy bits about it that I love, I just need the framework to make itself a little more obvious, and it's still being difficult and fairly unpredictable (I only realised fairly recently that it all makes a lot more sense if one of the main characters is dead) Not to mention that the sodding thing doesn't have a sodding title!
But I think I'm getting there. Chapter 3 is in my sights.
A hard decision - but the right one
4 weeks ago