I thought it was time I wrote about progress on my WIP. I’ve been chipping away, still working with the snowflake method. I really enjoyed spending time with each of the main characters, and I feel like I have some ‘real’ people standing before me; I’ve particularly enjoyed searching through google images until I’ve found a likeness that allows me to really see them. In creating back stories, and a full CV, I have a sense that the characters will show me the way when I put them into my setting.
With these fleshy characters in mind, I’ve gone back to the synopsis, and have been expanding this into a full outline. Because my novel is historical, with some ‘real’ events, I’ve been going back to these source documents and plugging them into the story. A timeline is emerging… A structure is emerging.
The main takeaway from The Literary Adventure is the question of what is driving the story. The plot engine. The ‘what is it that is going to keep my reader turning each page.’ Well, there was a bit of a moment yesterday when I realised that I was trying to write the whole thing from the wrong perspective. The fog around this ‘what-if’ has been swirling for a couple of months, and yesterday, it lifted. I’ve been missing the bleeding obvious! Eureka! The story remains the same, the characters are the same, but it’s like the whole novel has shifted around 90 degrees, and I can now see the point. The hook. The raison d’être. Bloody good job, you might add, because if you didn’t, there was no hope of a reader doing so!
Simply put, I am going to explain why a series of events happened. In history, this man has been blamed and accused of mis-management of the crisis that happened in 1730-1731, but there are always different truths. I just need to channel a 42-year-old man who was born in the 1690s, in Lanzarote. It’s a much more interesting story than the one that I was trying to create, about a protagonist that I couldn’t quite work out. She’ll still be there, but in softer focus.
I’ve been procrastinating about getting a set of documents translated (I had a hysterical couple of afternoons with GoogleTranslate last week, painfully slow at one level, but very amusing. It was like a reverse of Manuel from Faulty Towers), but I think I’m going to have to get on with it. I also have determined, again, to learn Spanish. If I’d done something about it 10 years ago, I could be fluent, and if I do nothing for another year, I’m going to be a year further away from the fluency I could be (are you still with me?). An advert has appeared in the local magazine, so Graduate Tutor George is going to hear from me. I wonder how he is with 18th century manuscripts?
I’m enjoying this process so much – I’ve been scared about it for so long, and it’s served no purpose. But that’s a whole other blog…