This time last year, I was about to abandon writing “book 4” (it still has no title. But then, it still isn’t written or have an ending I’m completely happy with. These are all linked...). I was beginning to feel that describing myself as a writer (even a part-time one) was in breach of the Trade Description Act as writing seemed to be the last thing I was able to do. My inspiration was withering on the vine and my other novels were all still just in my laptop.
This is where the novels were, a year ago:
Book 1: “Trust Nobody”
This is what I still think of as ‘my practice book’ – the one I made all the mistakes in when I was writing and one that will probably never be released into the big wide world. It’s a thriller.
Book 2: “Fault Lines”
Something completely different – an exploration of how a series of friendships are fractured when one of the group is diagnosed with cancer. I stopped sending it out to agents in 2011 because The Black Dog would have eaten me alive if I hadn’t. Vain as this will sound, I love this book. And it never fails to make me cry when I read it.
Book 3: “The Wrong Kind of Clouds”
Another thriller. Another one I’m happy with and would like to release into the wild. See the comment about The Black Dog above.
Fully plotted out but never written. The thrill was in the chase, not the writing and this was a notebook with fully-formed plot, twists, character notes... and no more.
No title, no ending, not finished. About to be abandoned with despair.
Not even conceived never mind born.
I was languishing in that hell that is Writers’ Block (when your imaginary friends stop talking to you) and hoping that somewhere down the line, inspiration would strike again.
Where am I a year on?
- “Trust Nobody” is still a practice-run and may never see the big bad world but that’s fine. Who pays to listen to a concert pianist playing ‘A tune a day’? Exactly.
- “Fault Lines” is off to a competition. Regardless of the outcome of that, it’s getting published this year because I will self-publish it.
- “The Wrong Kind of Clouds” will also get published this year, for the same reasons.
- “Book 4” is itching to be finished and I have some idea of how to do that. The 50,000 words that are written are okay. It was the 50,000 to come that were the problem! But I think that’s sorted now.
- “Book 3a” is going to become a screenplay sometime this year.
- Book 5 is at the end of the first draft stage and I am about 20% through a first edit. It will get published this year. It also has a name: Six Deaths (yep, it’s another thriller).
- “Book 6” (which might become “screenplay 2”) is bubbling away and I am scribbling things down like mad to capture them before they go.
- "Book 7" is also slowly emerging from the ether and announcing its arrival and I am desperately trying to capture its essence too before it fades (I can only cope with so much writing at one time - some of all this will have to wait its turn!)
I live in hope that this will continue and that my imaginary friends will always want to talk!