It is strange but it is at this early part in the term that homesickness has started to hit, probably because of the evil nature of this week. Arrived in Durham on Sunday, lectures started 9am Monday (finished 6pm Monday), started 10am Tuesday (finished 6pm Tuesday) and then have had a bit of a nothing day today, aside from some volunteering this afternoon. Cue slightly awkward photo of me at the stall. The yellow thing hidden behind the Quality Street box is my yellow notebook which has become where I have wrote most of the novel so far. Managed a few pages while I was sitting there, which was unusual because I usually struggle to write in front of people, even friends.
Tonight was strange. After the volunteering and a meeting for another group I’m involved in, I was left with nothing to do – not quite in the mood for work and with my friends engaged in their own imminent essay deadlines, I’ve felt a bit lonely.
That probably influenced the mood of my current scene (entitled ‘Christmas gifts’ on the placeholder card, if I wonder later), which evolved over the course of the day from what was intended to be the-argument-to-end-all-arguments into a small argument and a slightly bittersweet scene about the father-daughter relationship. The model for the father in this scene, though not in the book as a whole as it stands, is my Granda who is amazing, so its dedicated to him.
One thing I’ve noticed about university is that it can be quite isolating, in that everyone has different timetables and times like now when I would love some human interaction, other people are busy. I think another problem is that some people are more interested in academia than others. I enjoy my lectures sure and I even enjoy doing the reading for some of my modules but the fact remains that endless essays and exams is not fun to me, it is just a byproduct of the system.
With that thought, I’ll return to writing and post my current page count (including online scene that will need extensive editing to fit new focus of novel) soon!
I finished this scene almost to satisfaction but there was a small paragraph or two of description that I wasn’t quite ready to write today, as it was passed the main point of the scene and was just a little extra for character description reasons and emotionness (yes, that is a word now, or I can at least pretend it is!).
One plot point I realised that the current story outline to the midpoint of the novel doesn’t take into account is how everything goes from tentative normality to disaster, so need to add two scenes (NB – ‘doc’ and coach, or scenes recounting doc) to explain this away. Yes, this is in bold so that I remember. You may be wondering why I’m simply not putting into my book to change in the next draft but it is because this would be a very confusing plot hole if I left it and is easier to briefly clear up now.
My current plan of action for the book, based on my current level of progress, is to write up until the midpoint and then to begin revising this section of the novel and do a second draft of this while researching the second half of the novel.
Yep, research. This concept is largely foreign to me because either I write what I know or I would write something fantastical or supernatural that is much more free. I once tried to research another novel idea — at a stage when it was just characters and loose ideas — late last year and after attempting to read the report of a commission from the 1800s on workhouses my motivation fell apart.
So this time I’m waiting until the characters and their story is rooted in my mind. I’ve just consciously also realised that I’ve allowed some of the subplots to fall by the wayside a little bit as a consequence of drafting out of order. Something I’ve made a note to also improve next time!
Pages written today: Six and a half
Total number of pages: Seventy eight pages (handwritten only I believe, my counting is probably slightly off!) and then four pages typed up (2065 words – which will need substantial editing to fit the new course of the story). That gives an approximate word count so far of around 20,000 words and what is best about this is that as these pages are handwritten I feel as if I can be more explorative when editing rather than being able to make simple changes or ignore things due to staring at the screen being less creative.