I’d like to think I can write a beginning; a hook, a line or two or three. Something that will draw you in to the world I am creating… of course, if you have now closed down your browser and gone to the kitchen to make a cup of tea perhaps I am delusional… come back, wait – DON’T GO!!!
I’d like to think I can write an ending, something that ties up loose ends, gives you an emotional kick – be that happy, sad, excited, proud or so desperately clutching to the Kleenex you fear your heart may never mend… that last bit is optimistic, maybe one day.
I’d like to think that I can write. And that one day I can write something good enough that lots of people will want to read it. And they’ll enjoy it. And they might even want to read another book written by me. I’d like to think a lot of things.
BUT. It isn’t that easy is it. Now I know, this isn’t ground-breaking news. There is no BBC audio logo coming across with this announcement. I am not suddenly realising something new. But I am currently, acutely aware of the task I have set myself.
I was fortunate to be given a bursary by Literature Works, for a manuscript assessment by The Literary Consultancy. I was thrilled, it was exactly what I needed. I was then, doubly thrilled to have my manuscript passed to a crime editor at Harper Collins who would read what I had writ (yeah, that’s a word.) I want my writing to have some grit to it, and although Crime isn’t the genre I write for; I could definitely see the benefit in that choice of reader.
And now I have the most fantastic critique back. She pulled my work to pieces, which was good. She pointed out a character wasn’t working, which was true. She suggested I may occasionally get bogged down in the minutiae of finite details that are not remotely, entirely necessary which would in turn completely kill the pace of what I had been writing thus turning the reader right off… who knew….
Stay with me.
So, I am rewriting, redrafting, deleting that which is unnecessary and reworking the whole thing. But now I have a novel of only 49000 words and that does not a novel make. And this is where I reach the difficult bit. The middle. The bit that the reader is working towards, go too soon you have nothing to write about, take too long you have lost them entirely. There was a blog recently focused entirely on this point. I can’t remember who posted it. I am a bad person. Try Google…
Stay with me.
I am now faced with a critical question: Can I write a middle that is as engaging as the start, as resolving as the end, and has enough words in it to make a novel? One that isn’t peppered with Stay with me throughout it, in a desperate plea to keep you. Stay with… oh never mind.
The short answer is that I have to. To achieve what I have set out to do – write a good book – I have to manage the middle bit too. The long answer is…. Fbeiaget ulabfeia n ufohaegiebjt a jfhrauitg reojafhuoa nfuiagteatieahguforenatog. Which is exactly what I feel like typing on my computer at this very moment. Because apparently even rubbish is more editable than an empty page.
Because of this, today, I am going to start the end. Before I have finished the middle. In the hope that some answers will arrive making it clear how the whole thing should work. I am nothing if not an eternal optimist.
The End. Are you crying yet? No? Bugger – one day.