My 50k words of manuscript has been a long time in the making and is still very much a work in process. I've had a few months where it has taken a firm backseat and to be honest, it was getting tricky to manoeuvre through the 30 chapters to tweak and expand on the areas that require that extra something. I printed the document thinking a thorough read through would help, only to find that its incredibly difficult to read my own drafted creation and not constantly interupt myself with minor corrections... So I chose the chapter that required the most thought and decided to only work on this.. Only to find that once I thought it through it was probably one of the more straight forward chapters and the rest needed tweaking much more sensitively or dramatically. Last week, at last, I had a breakthrough and my current solution is to go through adding A4 pages of notes to a printed manuscript. The main issue I have is that although 50k words of writing are hardly a complex novel, the world that I've created and from which my story has grown is much bigger than the words that appear on the page. I'm happy to have this 'problem' because once I complete my manuscript I know it will have depth and life to it.... The key words being 'once I complete my manuscript'!!
My daughter is four and a half and she started school on Friday. Today is day two. This has been a rather interesting experience and one that makes me feel most strange.
The walk or drive to school is hectic. Cars are everywhere on roads that can't manage the heavy traffic. There's no parking near the schools so the roads fill in a kind of system malfunction. Children everywhere with brothers and sisters in buggies and stressed parents rush around trying to get where they need to be quickly.
We wait in the playground for the bell that sounds permitting the children entry to their classrooms. Into a tiny, cramped corridor parents, children and siblings crowd in. Children stand dazed as their coats and bags are removed and put onto their pegs around all sides of the narrow space. Baby brothers and sisters grow heavy on Mum or Dads arm as the buggies are left outside in the rain, no space to spare at all.
Children do not know where they are going. Mothers and fathers not able to help as they too wait for instructions. A child starts crying, screaming and resisting entry to their classroom.
A mother fight back tears.
My daughter is fine. So far she likes school. I haven't needed to cry because my little girl is having fun and I know this is how it has to be. To me, this isn't sad, just hectic and confusing.
With children in class and out of sight, Mothers cry as they walk home.
I understand that all these children need to learn to attend school and make it on their own. I understand the parents need to be strong and let their children learn and grow. It's an exciting time. So why does it seem so sad, so chaotic?
Maybe I just want ultra-organised and it's not possible with so many children. Maybe I've been out of the real world too long.
Maybe there's another way....
I've been reading some writing magazines and can actually wholeheartedly say they've helped me reflect on my story and given me ideas on how to improve it. I'm not talking about adding events or new characters but rather looking at levels of conflict, character motivation and the likes. My notepad has, in the last two days, seen furious scribbling... happy days
Fiction.....Real life.....Sometimes the two aren't so different.
I watch people around me in their lives and I don't see their whole picture. I see a perspective. I see complexity from a simple angle.
Isn't it one of lifes oddities that inspiration rarely travels alone? One little spark often leads to another and then another and before you know it there's a whole fire of inspiration crackling away where previously there was only a barren space.
How to get the first spark is a mystery in itself. Does it start with an external event? Does your imagination suddenly have a spurt of energy? If you were in a dark room without stimulae would inspiration desert you? Hmmmmmm.
Separate names with a comma.