Monday, 25 September 2006

Sleeping on it

Here's something I thought I might mention before it slips my mind forever. Observant readers might have spotted that I'm a keen writer of both fiction and non-fiction. At the moment, I'm working up the third (or is it fourth?) draft of a novel, which I'm hoping to complete some time before Christmas. (I'm not saying which year.)

There are many differences between the first draft and the most recent version. You know the drill. Characters have been ditched, added, changed. Plot lines have been tightened until they hum in a high wind. Hackneyed metaphors have got the chop ... And I've rewritten passive sentences.

Anyway, a couple of things weren't working. One was the death of a character. Dramatic, sure, but not quite right. The solution came to me while I was wandering around a rainforest up north. I sat down on the wet path, risking leeches (bad) and scrub itch (worse), and scribbled down the entire scene in my notebook. Nothing to do with the surroundings. Everything to do with a refreshed mind.

The second problem was the denouement. Well, I didn't think it was too big a problem until I had a dream last night that played out a much sharper scene. Perfect! Now, all I have to do is relive that nightmare and I've got the conclusion.


Anonymous said...


It's been decades since I saw and heard the word "denouement". (Yes, it was a course in English literature.) I think I may have used it only once in the last 3 years. I am glad that the denouement of your plot came to mind like a "light-bulb idea". (I have also read that a mind needs to rest for sharp thinking.)

I'll watch out for the book -- Christmas this year, or next, .... Will you publish under a pseudonym? Alert me please, if you will.


Anonymous said...

Good fiction is in part written at the level of the subconscious. The writer is constructing an elaborated lie and the unconscious mind is keen to join in.

Whatever the genre, I think the competition should be afraid

Sherryl said...

Aha, you were struck by the Amazing Blaze of Enlightenment, more commonly known as The Brain Cell of Creativity and Writing That Only Returns When the Workplace from Hell Hath Disappeared From View. (or TBCCWTORWWHHDV, if you like unpronounceable acronyms). How wonderful that it visited you so quickly. It usually takes three weeks for mine to emerge from hiding. Something about student assignments that sends it scurrying for cover.

Snail said...

I'll let you know what happens, Ann. Should a publisher pick up the MS, everyone will know about it!

But I've got to finish it first. That ain't easy.

Snail said...

"Whatever the genre, I think the competition should be afraid"


Snail said...

"Something about student assignments that sends it scurrying for cover."

Do you find your spelling, grammar, punctuation and imagination all suffering as a consequence of reading assignments?

I can barely construct a sentence after dealing with the first year essays.