Day Eight

I’m much more in the writing mood today and am about to get set up to start my writing session for today. Tomorrow is flu jab day *eep* – which means an early morning – but tonight at least is mine. I’m writing a scene that, like the one before it, seems to be expanding without my meaning to do so.

I’m listening to a song that I used to love when I was younger, probably around the time that some of the aspects of the book are inspired by, and it is making me feel like this:

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It’s helpful though because this scene isn’t exactly intended to be the happiest!

While writing the last few days I’ve been listening to the music of Belgian choir Scola and Kolacny Brothers and am ashamed to admit that yesterday I noticed for the first time that one of my favourite songs of theirs is not actually in English. I don’t know what I thought the words meant, but I thought that ‘Hungriges Herz’ was in English. Or didn’t notice that it wasn’t. That’s how engrossed in my writing I’ve been.

I’ve just had to throw the notebook down in a fit of desperation to write this down. I’ve just thought of the most horrific way that my novel could end. Listening to ‘Every Breath You Take’ sung by a choir, and writing one of the early scenes, there are two ways the novel could end.

  • The optimistic way that I had planned from the beginning. The ending that gives hope and is ambiguous, allowing you to imagine what happens after the last page in a hopeful way. This was in fact the first scene that came to me, it was what made me want to write this book. To be able to tell the story that lead to that moment.
  • The dreadfully sad way that has just came to me now. I have only plotted up to a certain point in the novel, following the Save The Cat method as a guide, I’m up to a certain beat number… And what comes next is the beat in which bad things have to happen. Using this ending would be cruel, desperately cruel to my character and it would actually make me cry to have to write. It would be desperately unlucky for this to happen to her. But it would also heighten the tension and isn’t that always the aim? It would give countless new dimensions to her character and I could still write the original ending… But have it as a dream sequence or epilogue. This ending  is starting to feel more likely even as I write this justification for it. I feel paralysed by having to make a choice.

That’s the key thing though, isn’t it? It’s a choice I will have to make soon, because it will affect the character arc all the way through the novel and also the path that the character takes to get there. It will require extra scenes to be written to explain why such a chance would be taken and require research on my part to make sure I’m doing it justice. But perhaps it’s what is needed.

Truth be told, until this idea came to me, I had no idea how to move from Scene 15 on the outline to the ending. It was just a void with some character development to occur. This lengthens the novel and creates a whole arc. I’ll need to read medical journals, patient reports, all sorts of medical stuff as well as looking at the emotional side of it. That would take the novel completely out of the bounds of what I have experienced and understand, firmly into the realms of fiction.

I’ve talked to my Mum about the ending and to two of my uni friends and I think I will be going with ending two, because it allows for such better character development.

It’s more than that though, that ending feels true. I know she is only a character I have made up in my head, but I want to give her the ending that feels true to life and that is what has to be done. Those scenes are a long way off being written, and will require rewriting of one of the earlier scenes (the storytelling scene) that I just finished in order to fit with the new arc but that is worthwhile.

Wow. Even though so far today I’ve only wrote less than three pages today has been so valuable in terms of writing. This new development, which just sprung up out of nowhere, will completely change the tone of the second half of the book.

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Can sense that this book is going to need a lot of opinions before I’m going to be brave enough to send it out into the world. Back to my sad Belgian choir and writing a little bit more of this scene before I go to bed!

I’ve just sat and wrote non-stop for a while longer than I thought I’d be able to, thanks to my little writing buddy. First hugging my laptop, and then lying in a way that allowed me to rest my notebook on her back and then finally in a ‘seat belt’ position across my legs, she’s made it physically impossible for the last half an hour or so for me to do anything other than write. Sod’s Law, when I asked my Mum to come in and take a picture of the Writing Duo she got disturbed and ran away. It was lovely though, even if it has made me feel like I’ve got old woman hips.

Just like the other two scenes that I have handwritten (have got to remember that there is another scene online waiting for me to print off!) this scene has exploded beyond the simple demands of the outline. This has given me some hope for my writing ability because I can feel the plot developing and changing, the characters beginning to develop, in a way that I haven’t experienced before. This is my first true experience of writing (aside from a failed NaNoWriMo attempt in November, which ironically failed because the story was inferior to this one and I couldn’t motivate myself to continue it) free from the hell that was secondary school and then sixth form.

Having freedom in my wider life has aided my writing, as has the focus I’ve given it lately.

So: final tally for the day? An idea that is transformative in the course of the novel as well as eight pages of writing. I’d call that a success!

Going to go and read some Fanfiction and listen to some Disney music and then I really should get some sleep. Otherwise however will I cope with having a semi-normal sleeping pattern at uni? *gasp* (Like that is ever going to happen!)

Anyway…

Good night all,

Emma

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