Well, this seems like a daunting task, my first ‘Blog’!
I’ve been sitting looking at the blank screen, holding out for a flash of inspiration. I figured if I stared into the white abyss that is my screen for long enough, at some point a little person would appear, wave a magic wand and it would all seem quite clear as to what it is that you do with these pages. Alas, no little person and no magic wand but look, I started to write!
I suppose it was a similar thing when I first sat down at my trusty keyboard (the QWERTY type!) and decided to start to write my first fiction novel. Oh dear, did I use ‘fiction’ and ‘novel’ to describe the same thing there? Ho hum.
I had an idea buzzing around in my head for a couple of years. I had the beginning all set out in my mind but just wasn’t sure where I could take it. A couple of times I made the threat to myself that I would actually sit down and start to write but I had to be in the right frame of mind before I started. My first book, I didn’t want to screw it up. It was easier to not start it and that way I couldn’t ‘screw it up’!
I’m not sure what changed. It could be that the story was coming to bed with me every night and stopping me from sleeping and so I got up one day and just said to myself, ‘I’ll do it; today!’
Now just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a book written, although, when I sat down at my computer and began tapping away on the keys I thought I might get the whole thing wrapped up that day! The story had been buzzing around in my thoughts for such a long time the words just flowed. I came up for air every so often, cup of coffee, sandwich, let the dog out for a pee (myself too), usual sorts of things but otherwise I spent that first full day typing. Now, I didn’t end up with a stunning Colosseum, I ended that day with the beginnings of a great story.
Over the next few weeks my story evolved into a one hundred thousand worded piece of fiction. Of course, this had to be the most amazing piece of fiction ever written! I even printed the whole thing off, just so that I could feel like Jessica Fletcher, holding a manuscript. My manuscript.
I left it on a shelf for a little while to collect dust, occasionally I would pat it like a cute puppy and a smile would ride across my face. My feeling of accomplishment seemed to be sufficient.
It would be around six months after I first plopped the stack of A4 paper on the shelf that I had the urge to read it back. Family encouraged me to get the story published but of course, the self-doubt and lack of confidence all rushed around my brain along with the excited visions of actually seeing it in paper-back form. I picked up the wedge of paper and began to read.
Having done a writing course many years prior, I knew that I had to read it through and tweak it, which I did. I methodically went through the whole thing, checking spellings, changing bits around, cutting out the drivel, definitely getting the word count down (after-all, I’m not trying to be Tolkien) and basically reviewing the whole thing. Actually, I did this twice and it was at the end of the second time and after some Sisterly advice, I chopped the whole story up and totally rehashed the way it read. After another final read through (we’re on the fourth now!) I had finally finished. My story ready for the reading public!
And that could be that, as they say. Mission accomplished. Everyone is supposedly said to have one book in them, the only trouble is I have another story sharing my pillow once more. And, so; it begins again! The only trouble is, I have yet another idea queuing but that one will just have to wait in line. One at a time please!