An author of Speculative Fiction, speculates about fiction.

Back in the saddle

With one thing and another, editing Greaveburn and working on my Open University assignments, I’ve not had much time to write lately. The problem, of course, is that my current WIP isn’t going to write itself either. I think there might have been an issue around my character development that I haven’t been confident enough to tackle just yet. My main character (Alan Shaw, see the WIP page for more) has to fall in love with another character; enough to get hurt later. Now, for regular viewers of this particular blog channel, you’ll know that romance isn’t exactly my forte. Creepy beasties from the netherworld, fine. Falling hopelessly in love, not so good.

This is about as Romantic as my work normally gets.

And so I’ve been putting it off, telling myself that I need to think about it more. That I don’t understand how to write simple romance, never mind the complicated love/hate divide necessary for this part of the plot to really work. What’s an author’s favourite word? Procrastinate! So the assignments and Greaveburn work has been a happy distraction. Until last week.

Finding that I hadn’t taken my alloted amount of holidays this year, and that I have to take them by April or lose them, I ended up with Monday through Thursday off last week. Laura was at work all day. I had just finished the latest round of assignments and no more are due for a couple of weeks. Basically, I was in the perfect position to get some serious writing done. All I could think was “shit, I’m going to have to write that romance section”.

So, I set my jaw, opened my notebooks to the copious amount of research and plotting I’d done over the last couple of months when nothing else was forthcoming, and started to type…

And, as always, I was proved wrong by my own lack of confidence.

My fingers couldn’t type fast enough. The images were coming thick and fast, the dialogue made sense. What my main character found compelling about his love interest was the very thing she hated in him, but they have so much in common despite wildly different cultural and social backgrounds. Where was this stuff coming from!?

Suffice to say, by the end of the four days, I hadn’t exactly broken any word count records, but a good chunk of work had been produced. And, when I read it back, it was actually ok! I’ll leave the final decision as to whether it works to you lovely readers when The Adventures of Alan Shaw (working title) is released eventually finished. But for now, I’m happy with it.

The next step…ripping out my main character’s heart. Now that I can do!

Thanks for reading.

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8 responses

  1. Well done for writing through the pain!

    Now you’ve set it up you get to do the fun part. Enjoy the ripping. 🙂

    March 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm

  2. Oh, your poor character! Sometimes I think there’s an unnatural amount of glee writers get from torturing their characters. I probably fit that category too. 🙂 It’s great you managed to tackle that part of writing you’ve been putting off. I know all about procrastination, it should be my middle name.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:00 am

    • Ava – I know, sick aren’t we? Hahaha I’m just glad that Im back on a writing binge. This novel’s going to get its butt kicked hahaha

      Spider – I’m the same! Only once have I written a “funny” story but it was so dark that it was essentially me having a normal conversation but on paper hahaha
      Let’s just hope that it all works from the reader’s end!

      March 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

  3. That sounds so familiar I can’t begin to tell you! 😀

    I have the same doubts about my ability to write romance realistically or even decently (though Im never sure what exactly the standard is that I’m comparing against!) and used to worry the same about funny – always felt I couldn’t do funny in writing, even though I’m told I’m fairly amusing in person.
    Turns out that I can in fact be somewhat funny when I try as I discovered recently when I started writing the first chapter of what was a bizarre, out-of-the-blue random idea for a book which I’m now going to morph into a short story because with one book near finished and already 3 chapters into the second I probably shouldn’t start a third! 😀

    Really looking forward to seeing how it turns out, heading over to the WIP page now for some prelim research.
    Cheers!

    March 20, 2012 at 7:11 am

  4. It’s an amazing feeling, when the words flow in faster than your fingers can type – good luck with ripping the poor man’s heart out (that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!)

    March 20, 2012 at 10:58 am

  5. Lol, it always seems to be easier writing about pain and anguish than love. Well done for tackling it though, the procrastination monster has been beaten for now!
    Best I’d better take myself over to the WIP section to see what I’ve been missing. 🙂

    March 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    • Thanks Ileandra, much appreciated. Now the true test is whether it’s any good or not 🙂

      March 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm

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