You may recall that not long ago I started writing my second novel. I launched into it with great gusto, but have had to put it to one side as there is something more pressing to do. The rewriting of book one. Anyone who believes that when they write ‘The End’ (metaphorically at least, we’re not seven years old, after all) their work is done, is sadly deluded.
It would seem that whilst book one has very many great elements, it has just as many which simply don’t work. And so I have started the exciting task of unpicking the stitches of the story and laying them all out in front of me to see how they might better knit together. I say exciting, because it’s like writing an entirely new novel, but with all the best bits from my practice run.
Just think how many times you’ve wondered what your life would be like if you’d taken a different path. If you’d married later, had children earlier, done that degree, taken that job, gone inter-railing round Europe. In real life we never get to find out, but I can play God with my characters and it’s enormously fun. By altering one small element early in the book, an entire course of events will change. Imagine the effect that might have on someone’s life – their personality, even.
I’m still letting the ideas fly around at the moment, dashing off notes to myself every now and again; “What made him leave?” “How did it change her?” “What on earth would happen if…?” I’m gradually starting to fill in the structure of my new story, and realising how much better it will be than the first. I’m excited all over again about this novel. Book two will just have to wait.