Saturday, 14 January 2012

Wake Up Little Snoozy...

Is it appropriate to say Happy New Year, being the 14th January and all?

Nevertheless, I bid you a tremendous 2012.

It's been a while since my last post. I'd love to tell you I've been horrendously busy, writing my novel with ferocious voracity.

I haven't. My muse has had a terrible case of the Black Dog. If it had a chaise longue, it'd have been sprawled across it, damp cloth on the forehead, fainting occasionally.

The excitement from my NaNo days (which seem so long ago now) had all but disappeared. It abandoned me, leaving me with a 50k story that I had no idea how to progress.

Guiltily, I started writing other story ideas, and the creative buzz returned somewhat. But, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I don't care for failure. That's what The Caretaker was starting to look like, and it pained me.

Was I just procrastinating? Surely procrastination is what happens when you put off something you don't want to do? I want to finish the novel, goddamnit, what the F is going on?

I consoled myself, reading blogs from experienced authors, writing about how your first novel is never publishable anyway, and how people really don't find their true novel until they've written five or six of them. I even tried to write a couple of blog posts, about how The Caretaker wasn't The One for me. How shameful.

It still didn't change how I felt about The Caretaker.

I'm pleased to report, stubbornness has prevailed.

The smelling salts arrived in the form of this Creative Writing Masterclass video. Not to impugn videos, but that's how bad it was getting. I couldn't bring myself to write, so I was watching videos on writing. If Charles Dickens could have witnessed this spectacle, he'd have poked me in the eye with his feather-tipped pen.

This video ignited the epiphany within me. It made me realise which character I wanted to be my "hero". Something every writer probably has pegged from the first page, but I'd become so close to all the characters, I didn't want just one hero.

That doesn't make for a good story though, does it?

Here's my very first synopsis of The Caretaker, before I started writing it:

When a car crash leaves Harry crippled and his mistress dead, his previously idyllic world collapses around him.
He seeks forgiveness from his devastated wife, Wendy, who agrees to give up her teaching job to take care of him. Can she bring herself to trust him again? Or does she succumb to the advances of the school's Caretaker; so desperate to be someone's first choice again?
The mistress haunts them both, in more ways than one.
Experience the turmoil of both sides of the coin, in this tragic tale about the fragility of trust.
Here's the synopsis of The Caretaker, written 30 days and 50k words later:

When a car crash leaves Harry crippled and his mistress dead, the lives of those around him change forever.
His devastated wife, Wendy, agrees to stand by and take care of him. But she cannot forgive the betrayal and, when advances from the local school's Caretaker distracts her, Harry's well-being is severely at risk.
The mistress haunts them both, in more ways than one.
Not only did Tina lose her sister in the accident, she lost the love of her life, Mick, Harry's brother. Mick can't see any future with the sister of the girl who tore his brother's life apart. When she finds out she's pregnant with Mick's baby, she hides it from him, convinced he'll tell her to get rid of it. As the baby grows inside her, so does her obsession with Mick.
Helen is out for revenge, after losing her favourite daughter in the accident. Hell bent on
vengeance, she blames Wendy's inability to maintain a good marriage; her inability to keep her man from leading astray. When her other daughter, Tina, falls pregnant, it fits into her plan perfectly. A stout Catholic, she believes it is her religious duty to make everyone pay for their sins.

As you can see, the story is riddled with other stories. They do all tie in together, but there was something missing from it.

My hero, Harry.

Yes, he is a cheating scumbag. I have no more time for love rats than you do. But my aim is to make this book his journey. I aim to weave his tale throughout the rest of the chaos and hopefully come out on top.

Although... you never know... he might just be too despicable to save. There may be more bad karma coming his way...

You'll have to read the book to find out! :D



Daniel Swensen said...

Glad to hear you're writing again, Catherine. :)

Catherine Noble said...

Thanks, Daniel, it's great to be (kind of) back in control of the situation!:)

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