I’ve broken my spell checker.
As soon as I’ve got to beyond 20,000 words my version of Openoffice now seems to be telling me that every words in the English language isn’t recognised. The small red lines appear under every single thing I write which isn’t exactly a massive deal but does represent a small pain in the neck.
I’ve checked whatever language the software is on and, as before, it’s set to ‘English UK’. I’ve tried resetting the whole thing but no joy.
So now I’ve just settled for switching that particular feature off and just carrying on regardless.
I seem to have developed a complete inability to start writing before lunch. Today also involved another trip to a supermarket to buy food. There’s a new one opening three minutes walk away from my house on Thursday so at least I won’t need to drive as of next week.
I tried to get started this afternoon but ended up putting it off again. Then I had to pick my son up from school. I then get an hour before starting dinner to ask him how his school day went.
I got started at around 10pm. This is far too late especially considering I have work in the morning so can’t go too late. I got another solid 500 word chunk done again but I’m left imagining how much I’d get done if I actually sat down in the morning and began then.
Well that was a uphill battle.
Today I finally returned to the book but it took a long time to actually get to it. Despite planning out where I’m going on a chapter by chapter basis I was struggling with what the first sentence of Chapter 13 was going to be. It was the exact same feeling as starting the whole book off back in March.
This chapter starts on the beach by the town in the early hours of a summer morning. How exactly did I want to describe that? How would I set the scene? The blank page in front of me has been a deadly chasm nearly all day. I hoovered instead, I put washing on, I drove six miles to a supermarket purely to buy onions! All of this to avoid the act of actually getting on with the thing.
Eventually, after everybody else in the house had gone to bed I began. I only got another 500 words onto the pile but they feel significant.
We press on.
Here’s what I’ve been doing all these notes in for the last week or so. It’s a change from my usual black covers. I had thought that I’d be writing just a few lines before carrying on with the book. Those few lines threw up many extra questions regarding the story that I hadn’t anticipated before. I ended up taking each of the five main characters, writing down where they were at this point in the story and confirming what they want to achieve by the end and how they’re going to get there.
This in turn also chucked in a few more questions.
So I carried on.
I had hoped that Monday gone would have been the day when I picked this whole thing back up again but it felt too early. It felt like I had to sort a whole lot more stuff out. If I had gone back to it on that day then I probably would have had to organise a lot more issues out further down the line.
As it stands I’ve just finished planning out a further twenty chapters (on top of the twelve I have so far) which I think results in events rounding themselves off nicely at the end.
I think I’m ready to get back to it.
Wish me luck.
There has been much note taking, jottings and diagrams sketched. In an effort to take stock of where the story is I’ve been doing some analysis of what I’ve done so far.
‘But you should probably have done this before you started the first page Cam’ I hear all four of my readers cry from their respective rooftops.
Yes, I probably should but I’ve never written a full book before so I’ll chalk this one down to experience. I’m going through all the different characters and asking myself what they wanted at the start, how has this changed with events up to now and has their overall goal changed. It’s helping shape the next section of the book but also revealing some cracks in the foundations.
There now follows below some details about the main thrust of the story as far as the book is concerned. If you’re reading all this and planning on actually buying the thing once I get it finished (bless you) then you might want to skip it. Also, if you’re just plain bored of me going on about it then you might want to do the same.
Firstly, my policeman character is the first to discover the returning girl who has been thought to be dead for the last ten years. She actually goes to his house after discovering that her own family home is now an abandoned wreck. Her Mother is back in town, he is perfectly aware of this and yet he doesn’t go to tell her straight away. He actually keeps her locked in his house whilst he goes off to investigate what’s going on down the waterfront in the middle of the night. However, if his one past regret of his career is not finding this girl when she went missing and after telling her Mother that he would, then why exactly is he doing this?
My resolution to this is going to be suspicion. He’s a sceptic on all things alien/paranormal (much more Scully than Mulder) so therefore has a belief that this child isn’t what she says she is. He has a need for control so has to work out for himself what’s going on before the Mother gets involved. There will be a meeting between all off them but not right away. I like the tension of this kid almost being kept in the house against her will and breaking out herself later.
The second main question is why is the Mother even there? She’s not getting her daughter back as she’s been officially considered dead for a decade. She moved away because she grew tired of the persistent rumour floating around town that she’d killed her own daughter. She therefore hates the town and the people so why exactly has she made it back? Morbid curiosity? Regret? A need to reconnect with the past? I currently haven’t made that connection yet and her character is really suffering as a result.
This is only the start of it.
I’ll be note taking for the next few days and aim to get back on the wagon by Monday.