It’s no secret that I haven’t been writing my novel. Okay, maybe it has been. Kind of. The truth is I have been finding this novel writing very cumbersome. It has been coming to me in spurts, like tetris blocks that do not belong together. Or, broken jigsaw pieces.
It doesn’t help when people who know about this novel-in-progress, ask me, “So, how is that novel coming along?”
How about you shut the eff up? No offence, but really.
Aunties, uncles, friends, friends-of-friends, foes, random person I just met, mom, dad, sis etc… I apologize in advance, but I am in no mood to kowtow with you on my novel, okay? It’s my novel. I am writing it. I will finish it when I think it is finished. So, if you will please bugger off until then, it will be much appreciated.
To boost my inspiration, I have started working on my short story ideas. It is easier to tackle the short form. For the most part, my approach is very clinical (very similar to my academic essay writing tactics):
1. Make an outline
2. Detail the outline
3. Follow the outline
It works every time.
Well, almost every time.
When it comes to poetry or flash pieces, I have taken the free form route. You know, just write? Unlikely narratives have emerged that way.
But this novel… it already has a structure- in my head. The details, however, come in bursts.
Yesterday, for example, while in that zone of half asleep, half wakefulness, I wrote an entire excerpt. In my head, of course. Then, I fell off the edge (not literally). In the afternoon, I forgot all about it, until something I was reading triggered the memory. I sat and jotted it down. A novel excerpt, complete! Ta-da! You may clap, now.
I suppose there’s no method to the madness. The modus operandi differs from person to person. So far, this cut-piece method seems to be working. I have written more in the past two months than I have since September.
I have even joined an intensive writing group in the hopes of beating my quarter written novel into a recognizable shape. A shapely mass. A shapely mess?
Anyway, just a word of caution in parting. The next time you are compelled to ask me, “How is the novel writing going?”, don’t be surprised if I ask you to mind your own beeswax. And not too sweetly, either.