I’ve never really written a full book before. I say ‘never really’ because I did manage to write a full book whilst in primary school. It was a breathless, full of action scenes, spy caper in which the final battle took place on jet packs. From what I recall it was appalling and lacked any character depth whatsoever but I managed to finish the thing regardless quite simply because I was oblivious to any criticism at the time.
Another small point to consider is (and I always feel a little ashamed to admit this) that I don’t read that many books. My wife will probably read two or three books a month. She’ll sit up before bed with the light on reading. For me though it’s the competition they have with video games. If a book grabs me straight away then I have no problem finishing it. ‘American Gods‘ by Neil Gaiman was initially daunting for me as it clocks in at over 400 pages. I honestly thought I’d have to give in after the first two chapters. Luckily American Gods is, as we say in Scotland, an absolute belter and I carried the book around with me for weeks, reading a few pages here and there. I got to the end in about three weeks. The same thing happened with ‘The Damned United‘ by David Peace, a fantastic book about Brian Clough’s 45 day reign as the manager of Leeds United Football Club in the 70’s.
In short, I don’t have much basis for reference when books are concerned. I spent my youth watching movies and playing games.
This also means that there are parts of this process when I want to do things with the writing that I’m not sure work in a book format.
The latest example occurred today whilst writing the next chunk. I’m now reaching the end of Chapter 3 and it’s the moment the young girl goes missing. Whilst walking down the beach next to the town she finds, crumpled in a heap, the alien life form that landed in the water a few months previous. This being ends up dragging her into the water where she remains for the next ten years. In effect I’m describing her death yet it won’t be her final days as she’ll come back to the town later.
The start of Chapter 4 will see our police officer walk out of his house in the present day. His cat has killed a bird which sits on the front door step. I was going to open the chapter by describing the carcass but waiting a few sentences before saying anything about beaks or feathers. Essentially I want it to be a continual description of the two linking the two chapters together, like when movies cut between similar subject matter for two adjoining scenes.
I’m just not sure this works in the context or if I’m mistaken for thinking this will be a neat trick. Will it actually add anything to the story overall?
I’ve done the 500 words today but I’ll probably try and write a little bit more tonight just to make up for the last couple of evenings spent on the Playstation. I might cut and paste it and post it on here so you can see what I mean.