It’s funny how each part of the writing process brings such different skills and benefits to it–and downsides too, I suppose. Having just experimented with first draft material for a month, I can testify to the sheer exhilaration of creating new material mixed with the fear of all the things I don’t yet know about the book. What I remember most clearly from the past month though was the evening when I felt particularly stuck and thought and pondered the characters while I paced through the apartment, until suddenly it just clicked. I closed my eyes, stopped to lean against the kitchen table, and I could just feel this character from the inside out. The feel of his body, the restlessness, the paranoia. And his thoughts, rushing one on top of the other.
After that, his scenes came fast and furious, and I couldn’t wait to dig into his story further, find a way to happiness for him because, frankly, he completely deserves it, no matter what he may believe.
Anyway, the book is not yet done. There’s still a lot of fresh new words to write, and more pondering to do about the heroine and her journey. Right now I’m back at work on Before and After the Wedding though, and it’s like slipping back into a comfortable pair of slippers. I know these characters inside out, their story, their worries. Now it’s more a matter of scrutinizing the work, see if I can bring the story a bit more into focus. Writing a novel is always such a matter of choosing which bits to show and which to leave “off-screen”, and I think the book will benefit from including a few more scenes, and tweaking some others. It is, perhaps, less creative work than diving into a first draft, but on the other hand I’m not so worried I will go off on a tangent or something, because I know the story I’m trying to tell. And there’s real pleasure in seeing a story in its final stages, when it’s all coming together. That germ of an idea I had over a year ago now fleshed out, breathing and well. Alive.