A few things have happened since I last blogged: 1) I finished my Masters degree (yay me!), and 2) I arranged my novel into chapters! Both occurrences have significant consequences.
Finishing my Masters has freed up my time: hours spent reading, researching and writing for university have suddenly become vacant. In an ideal world, I would fill these hours by writing my novel; however, in the ‘real’ world, I have filled these searching and pitching for more freelance writing, editing and proofreading jobs. At the moment, there is great output than return, but I am glad to have more time to dedicate to this part of my life.
Perhaps more interesting (for the reader at least) is the progress I have made with my novel. My writing so far has been episodic, and while I did have a sense of the overarching narrative, these episodes were disjointed, only loosely linked: more like a series of isolated incidences than a cohesive novel.
While I have been writing, I have noted down all the plot points on index cards. Finally, I sat down and spread all these cards in front of me. I was determined to get on top of this narrative! I arranged them in chronological order, but realised that if I revealed all of the events to the reader as they occurred chronologically, that I would give away too much too soon; so a re-shuffle was in order. I also found that I had two narrative threads occurring. I separated these into two separate piles.
What I have ended up with is 20 chapters with a prologue and a postscript. There are two distinct storylines running through the novel and intersecting at various points, with a number of subplots running throughout.
As a result of this sequencing, several episodes have needed tweaking. This has been fun and rewarding work – I can see a clear direction and know where the pieces fit. There are also great slabs of gaps that still need to be written (I’m a long way from finished yet).
For days I thought that was it, that I had cracked the plot, but it has been working on me, in the background as I eat and work, sleep and walk. Finally today, I realised there was a great flaw in the narrative with one key scene occurring too early in the novel. At this point, any changes have consequences to the rest of the story arc and in thinking about moving this scene, I saw that there was immense potential for a massive twist in the plot, one that I had not considered previously but upon which I think the success of the whole novel might now rest.
I am so excited! All I want to do is write. I can’t wait to discover the rest of this story, to find out how my characters react and respond to these newly uncovered events.
So, despite having completed my studies, I anticipate being busier than ever as I solicit and undertake more freelance work and use all my remaining time to continue writing my novel!
Photo credit: Studying
Photo credit: On top of this book