Monday, 9 June 2008

Slow progress, but steady

Heatwave! Where did that come from? We went to Bournemouth on Saturday. A long haul but worth it to remind myself how simple life can be when you're jumping real waves instead of imaginary ones. Or just paddling.

I wrote a flash about my brother, who is with the RAF in Afghanistan. It was one of the hardest things I've written and I'm not quite convinced it isn't a trite piece of trivia. I also started something for the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, so we'll see where that goes.

As far as the novel goes, I'm a whisker away from 80,000 words and toying with various endings. Do I go for all-out drama, or something more subtle? A fortnight ago I thought I knew the answer. Indeed I thought there was only one answer: drama and more drama.

Interestingly, the tone of the novel changed significantly around the time I was feeling down, last week. It coincided with a seminal moment for my heroine which makes me wonder if it's meant to be and whether I oughtn't to pursue this to its natural conclusion. But I'm a little wary of bringing too much of myself to the party, if that makes sense.

Also, I keep thinking of Max Beerbohm writing about characters who reputedly "write themselves", how he sat down and waited for them to do just that and got quite peeved when he found he had to get up and do the hard work himself. I have a great strong love for Beerbohm. Seven Men contains some of my favourite short stories of all time.


Tania Hershman said...

I would love to read your flash about your brother, I'm sure it isn't trite, it must have been very tough to write about it. Is it from his point of view? Do you think you'll let him read it?

Very interesting how your feelings last week changed the tone of the novel - or do you think it might have been the other way around? Maybe the novel affected you, or coming to the end of it affected you? You can always try an ending, leave it a bit, and see how you feel. Huh, what do I know? Never written anything more than 7000 words in my life, and that, my longest story, I just cut from my collection, it just doesn't work. Yet. Yet. Maybe! Hope you have a great week, stay cool.

Sarah Hilary said...

Hi Tania. The flash about my brother is posted over at WW, FFI. I don't know about letting him read it. My mother might like it, or not. It's a tricky time as his tour of duty doesn't end for another seven weeks.

Interesting, what you say about the ending. I do sort of feel I'm putting off finishing it, but I'm trying out ideas for different endings, which is good.

I hope your long-short finds a home. I'm sure it will.