Today my husband saved me from deleting 30,000 words of a half written novel.
As you know, I recently finished the third edit of my first YA novel and have been having a bit of a rest, writing short stories, reading and playing more video games than usual. Well, today I was ready to revisit something I started writing the bare bones for in 2010.
Some of you might remember the freezing cold Spring of that year, where the snows fell and looked like they would never stop, bringing most of England to a standstill. The press called it ‘The Big Freeze’ and it was during this time that I started writing my novel about a girl and her mother travelling across a frozen post apocalyptic landscape. I didn’t get very far and abandoned it 30,000 words in.
But just lately I’ve been thinking about it again and I decided to take another look at it.
Upon reading it again, I could see just how much my writing has changed in terms of style. The plot and characters were cliched and the voice just didn’t sound like mine. It was my imitation of what I thought writers ‘should’ sound like.
My finger was poised above the delete button…
…when thankfully my husband came in bleary eyed (I tend to get up pretty early to write before anyone else is awake) and asked what on earth was I thinking of and surely there must be something worth saving otherwise I wouldn’t have thought of going back to it.
I calmly explained that I realised that the ‘oh so great Orwellian story’ I had written was in fact a giant frozen turd that needed to be flushed.
He rubbed his eyes, sat down on the sofa and listened while he made me explain in some detail, the synopsis of the story so far. As I was telling it I could hear my voice becoming louder and more animated – a sure sign that I wasn’t done with this yet. I even read a small part of it to him.
When I had finished, he told me he told me it sounded great and that the characters were interesting and we discussed lots of ideas that would change this novel into the one I want it to be.
He made me realise that sometimes I make life harder for myself, and that sometimes I am my own worst enemy.
So thank you N. for stopping me from destroying that file. I know I would have regretted it later on.
Just prepare yourself for another round of researching, frantic planning and occasional frustration because starting tomorrow, it’s onto novel number two!!