“I wish that somebody would help me write this song…”
– Roger Waters, Amused to Death
Another Chapter Finished
In essence I abandoned all plans today when I realised what I was going to do. The gym was scheduled, and an afternoon of life admin and tea drinking. And then I started writing. The words bled from my fingertips. This moment had been coming a long time in my mind and it had finally arrived. A pivotal event in my character’s lives have finally brought them together: and here explodes the rest of the plot. From here on in, all the stress of writing this book will have left me. Getting these characters to this point has been a challenge. Fundamentally, this is a different book and style to what I normally write. Or at least the start of it is. Pleasant. Nice. Lovely things happening. SPOILER ALERT. That’s going to change. Now I can get into my element and I am relishing what I am about to build.
I feel that I have been preparing for this for such a long time, and it has been a frustrating journey. Though in retrospect, that is probably what I needed. My characters are experiencing similar emotions, dragged out uncertainty and their own tensions that they have carried for years – finally now they will have answers, and I will have my canvas.
A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Sometimes I feel that I put too much emphasis on character background. I enjoy creating the characters in their own environment, watching them grow – slowly. For the reader, that same setting might be an entirely different experience. In a way I want to live alongside my characters for a while as I start my book. I want to explore what they did before page one, and I want the time to expand on who they are under normal circumstances and how they initially deal with the first trickles of trouble. However, as a writer I don’t really have that luxury when I comes to penning a book. A reader doesn’t want the first hundred pages to be purely about the banality of a character’s current life – they want the action, the upset, the adventure. However, I need to know who I am writing about so thoroughly that whether I write three pages or thirty- you know exactly their character without their current lives being threatened.
Folie a Deux has been a fine balance of this – I hope. It’s been a struggle and what I have written is destined to be cut down to reasonable levels of succinctness. But for now, what’s written is for me and what it’s like when it’s done… well that’s for you.