Friday, 22 January 2010

12 - Hands up, authors

So among the One A Day clan, and anyone else who might happen upon this blog:

Who's ever started a novel?
Who's ever finished a novel?
Who's ever planned to start writing a novel and never gotten round to it?
Who's finished a final draft of a novel?
Who's tried to get a novel published?
Who's had a novel published?
Who's self-published a novel?

I've just thought about the amount of novels I've started. It's six, over the past six years.
  1. A hackneyed criminal thriller I wrote at the age of 18, full of deus ex machina and dialogue influenced by watching too much Quentin Tarantino. I lost it when my computer died. A good thing.
  2. A self-indulgent part-biographical tale of a loser, interspersed with a series of bizarre recurring dreams. All of them unfortunately true.
  3. A children's fantasy that I'm not entirely sure why I started.
  4. An incredibly depressing, bleak and heavy-handed story about suicide and death.
  5. A philopshical/fantasy/sci-fi/apocalyptic mish-mash that I still think is a fairly solid idea.
  6. The one that I'm currently writing. A social sci-fi that owes a lot to Philip K. Dick.
Apart from #6, I've never gotten past the 15,000 word mark on any of these. On top of that, there's a good four or five others that I planned out, wrote no more than a page of and gave up on it.

Maybe there's a good premise or two among the first five, but generally they were all dreadful. I hope #6 is better than dreadful - maybe even just less than good.

I finished the first draft of #6 back in September. Admittedly it's not a very good first draft, full of plot holes, mistakes and 2D characters as I kept in mind, 'I'll fix it in the redraft.'

I've been a bit slow redrafting, only having managed the first five of twenty chapters, and these are the chapters that have been rewritten the most. The ones that needed least polish. For a long time I never made it past chapter five, I just rewrote those first five over and over. Why? Err...

Anyway, I'm one step closer to being a failed novelist. I almost have the novel, I just need to fail with it.

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