Saturday, 20 September 2008

Trials, Tribulations and other Things

It's not been a good week in terms of the number of words I have written on Only the Gulls are Content.

I felt I had written myself in to a cul de sac. Because of a particularly difficult and bewildering phase for the main character, I'd decided to switch from an objective to a subjective point of view as it was the only way I believed I could most accurately describe his state of mind. I also, for reasons of immediacy, decided to switch from the past to the present tense.

You can see the dangers.

Though I am generally pleased with the outcome, it does mean that I have been describing every second of my protagonist's life. My concern has been for just how long can I maintain this stance and keep the reader interested? Is it in danger of becoming boringly one dimensional?

So I took advantage of the sun yesterday afternoon to sit on the beach and think through the issues. I haven't fully resolved everything but decided to continue as I am. The advantage of my present position is I do know precisely what will happen so it is only a matter of writing it to the best of my ability. Also, being aware of the problem, I trust I will be able to sustain the tension. In cinematic terms, I think of it as writing the master shot, then, when it comes to the re-write, I have already had thoughts on how to cut the material.

That said, my problems don't even bear comparison to those being faced so courageously by the Hesitant Scribe and my thoughts are with her.

Finally, I will be away for almost a week seeing Rebecca and her new flat, and Danny, Emily, Amy and young Katie. And Caroline, of course.

5 comments:

liz fenwick said...

Just keep writing anf getting the thoughts on the page then when finished you can step back and see if it was the most effective way to telling the story and adapt it as necessary.

My thoughts are HS too.

Lane said...

At least you've worked all your POVs and tenses through DOT. I'm still muddling and making a mess. I think it's a case of trial and error, get the whole story down and then (as Liz says) decide what works.

Hope you're having a good week away.

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

When I read a good book, I'm impressed if the author can keep the secret and so sustain the suspense. I think you may be overdoing it David, if even you, the author don't know what's going on ... get a grip, man!

Jon M said...

I'm impressed, I have to write verything down in a picture or I forget what's going to happen next!

DOT said...

Liz - I am, I am :o)

Lane - it is a mess, believe you me, but, and this point answers Jon's, I do have a cinematic imagination so I do see the wider picture as a series of interconnected graphic elements. It is the knitting together of these cameos that causes me problems.

S&G - Authors, and I speak from extensive research of a sample of one, rarely know what's going on. What is going on? Has the whole world gone mad? Let's bail out the banks for totally screwing everyone's lives so that we can re-establish the status quo where bankers may use our money as gambling chips to make themselves ever richer but now with the added attraction that they cannot lose. (Notice the sudden switch to a political rant?)