As regular visitors to my blog and my followers on Twitter will know I have felt like giving up on this whole writing malarky many times. Particularly on this WIP. This has been particularly true this week. Why? Because I got a rejection from a publisher? Possibly. Partly. Because I have been depressed lately? More likely. Because it’s damn hard work digging into your imagination AGAIN, just when you think there is nothing else you could possibly mine from in there after two and a half years of building this damn world and its characters and its plot and yet someone is demanding more, more, MORE! Oh yes. Definitely. This week I have been on the verge of ripping it up and pretending this whole silly idea for a story never fermented itself in my brain at all.
Although I viewed the feedback from the publisher last week as positive and took it in my stride, when I sat down and actually began to write notes about what needed “fleshing out” I panicked a bit. The overwhelming monster came to sit on my shoulder and hissed at me “Why bother? You’re only going to have to go and start all over again and change numerous things. Do you really want to do that?”
Answer: “Not really” but than I don’t want to do a lot of things but I do them nevertheless. So instead I decided to not think about it. I decided to leave it be. The world will not end if I don’t change my WIP. If I don’t finish it. If I don’t publish it. I’ll just leave it for now.
Then, last night I was cleaning my teeth (bathrooms feature heavily in my creative world) and suddenly I felt my mind start to resurrect a scene. A scene which happens already but through my protagonist re-living a memory later on in the story. But as I cleaned my teeth I found myself narrating a whole new prologue scene in my head. So I grabbed my notepad and scribbled down the first few lines.
It is a royal pain in the arse I have to do this because I now have to go back over so many other things in Book One to make sure I don’t repeat myself with this new fleshing out. I also need to drop the current prologue which I’ve always suspected is a bit rubbish anyway so I’m not too sad to see it go but I know some things will need building in. Oh more work. It is daunting and I really do feel like giving up on it sometimes. Though having spent so long on it now kind of makes me like a dog with a bone.
So Gordano? Where does he come into this post then? (Ah you didn’t even know Gordano was a character did you?) Well Gordano is my main protagonist’s father who actually only appeared in this memory scene because well… he’s dead. However as his death moulds an aspect of my main protagonists personality, I can see the value in resurrecting Gordano and so he now appears in the prologue which is seven years prior to the opening action of the book. (He does make an appearance in Book 2 actually but that is an actual flashback scene. Who even knows if that will stay!)
I wanted to keep Chapter 1 as Chapter 1 because, despite what the publisher said I do think it is a strong opening driven by action but hopefully this prologue (which I drafted this afternoon) will serve to strengthen it as will a few tweaks I have in mind. I will be consulting with a few trusted individuals on this in due course.
I do seriously feel like this is a never ending process. But I guess that’s what you get for deciding to write a novel, an epic fantasy trilogy novel at that, as your first stab at writing. I am still very much in a learning cycle. But surely at some point I can get off?
Oh and just in case you’re wondering – Gordano is named after a UK motorway service station. It was the first one I decided on as it’s near Bristol where some of the action above ground is set and there is a specific link to be made in Book 3. But that’s a long way off yet considering I haven’t even got Book 1 right yet!