It may come as a surprise to those of you who drift through this blog, that I am, actually, a writer. A real one, with books published and everything. And Being a Writer means that, occasionally, I have to sit down and...well...you know, write things. There's only so long that you can breeze about, all trailing scarves and flakes of chocolate falling from your scarlet lips, muttering "I am an artiste, I should not be burdened with earthly things...' before flopping down onto the sofa to watch 'Cash in the Attic' whilst calling it research.
So I have been doing just that. The writing thing, I mean, not the wafting and the chocolate and the Cash in the Attic thing. And I have to report, rather proudly, that I have now officially reached the half-way point in 'I Don't Want to Talk About It'. The characters are all there (one main character, Daniel of the biker boots, chaos tattoo and long black coat, has only just appeared in person, having been mostly there in thought alone up until now), the story, a woman whose ex tried to come between her and her identical twin and who is now cautiously attracted to a man with a stammer and a niece who is obsessed with her hobby horse, is settling down and beginning to turn the corner into the build up to a rather nasty reveal which turns the whole thing upside down. So far so hoopy.
But I have become afflicted, people. And all those of you who've ever tried to write a novel will start to nod, sympathetically I hope although maybe with an element of schadenfreude, at the following words. Sticky Middle.
I know what has to happen, it's a romance, so girl gets boy and they go off to, if not a happy ever after, at least a happy for now ending. But, before that there is a lot of sorting out to do... And because there are a lot of complicated motivations, unreliable narrators and downright lies going on, it's got to be carefully sorted so that the reader (hopefully you) knows were everyone is coming from, why they behave the way they have, and why there are no miraculous solutions or 'cures. Without rushing, and ending the whole thing at around the 50,000 word mark (most of my novels are about 80,000), or dragging out the whole 'going out, coming back, trying on new dresses and shoes and cooking lovingly described meals' and then ending abruptly with a quick ' he lied, she lied but they all love each other now, so that's all right isn't it?' (You may think I am exaggerating, but I have read books like this! Yes, really! Books that people paid real money for!).
So, in brief. I need to write another 40,000 words (yes, that is quite a lot. Yes, it is more than two pages. Yes, I completely understand that you once had to write 500 words when you sent that Round Robin to your family at Christmas and that it took you all day, and I feel your pain, but perhaps you can imagine writing 80 times as much without ever mentioning Your Nathan and his incredible success with the trolley collection service). They have to tell the rest of the story, but not too quickly, not too slowly and they have to be amusing and yet tear-jerking too.
Oh sod it. I'll just go and watch 'Cash in the Attic' a couple more times. For inspiration, you understand, because I AM an artiste, you know...
Sandringham, pt1 - Not Your Royal Christmas, my festive novella featuring characters from Not Your Cinderella and Not Your Prince Charming, will be out in ebook (paperback co...
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