Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Inevitable Plot Challenges in the Novel - Just get on with it...

I produced a couple of thousand words of Strachan's Attic yesterday. I've been distracted over the past few weeks, what with the new laptop and all the fast, fast browsing now available to me. There were so many blogs and web pages I'd avoided because they took so long to open. People had told me it could be like this. Instant access!

So I re-did my website, downloaded more music and fiddled around with my Playlists, set up Google Chrome, which is a very convenient little program, and cleverly avoided writing the love scene that was inevitable in Chapter Eight.

Well, I took a deep breath, and just got on with it yesterday. It's all done and consummated now. I'm feeling much better about getting to the next stage of the book, now that particular delicate bit is over. Of course, there'll be more face-offs, but I'll be able to deal with those now that this new aspect of my characters' relationship has been established.

I want to remind you that parts of Strachan's Attic are set in the 1940s. Sex was obviously alive and well, but approached in a more conservative way than it is today, at least in my secondary heroine's world. This was tricky to write about, because the very language of sex was different, as far as I know. I based this conclusion on old film, books, family anecdotes, and instinct, while also acknowledging the censorship of the era.

In writing about World War II, delving into the suffering, awed by the undefeated spirit of that time, I can feel emotionally raw. I went to bed quite exhausted last night, but there was also relief that I'd finally dealt with one of the more demanding episodes of the novel.

This leads me to admit that Hafan Deg is taking a back seat in my daily life. I'm somewhat ashamed that I've barely been following this novel's journey. I've had no further rejections and it did occur to me that it's been some time since I sent off my early queries. They probably need follow-up, but I'm not sure I'll do that. The way I see it, if the agent is interested, she'll get back to me eventually. If she's not, she'll get around to telling me that at some point - or perhaps she'll tell me nothing at all. There is also a distinct possibility that one or two of the queries simply got lost en route, deleted accidentally. I can live with all of this. I'll send out more queries this week, all the same. If the magic number could be as high as 100, I'm way behind.


Melissa Marsh said...

Studying, researching, and writing about World War II can be exhausting. I know the feeling well. But I also think it is a time period that continues to capture the imagination and keeping it alive through books is a great way to do that.

I'm looking forward to your finishied project!

Fran said...

Dear Melissa, I always feel you hovering gently in the background while I'm writing. I wonder how similar our stories could be?

janetlane said...

Hi, Fran,
I nodded my way through your novel challenges post. I write in 15th century England, and there's precious little recorded about anything let alone pillow talk. I so understand what you mean about following the novel's journey - or at least the protagonists' journeys. This-life distractions can take us out of our stories and it's tough to resist the pull sometimes. Good luck with your outstanding queries!