Over the years I’ve written several novels. Or rather, parts of several novels. I’ve given up half way, I can’t be bothered finishing, I’ve fallen out of love with my plots or my characters, I’ve lost interest or, worst of all, I’ve got writer’s block.
The reality is I’m one of Earth’s impatient people, and arranging 100,000 creatively crafted words in one location just takes too long. Hence my short(ish) stories. When I’ve got the characters and the plot for a story, I can churn out 2,000 words an hour if I don’t have any interruptions. In other words, I can write the entire thing in a day, first draft, if I’m lucky. If it’s a 2,000-2,500 word story I can start editing the same day, too. Most of the stories you’ll read on my blog have had minimal editing, by the way. So the odd typo may have crept in there, but essentially I like to use what was in my head or heart first time round.
Friends often ask me why I don’t write a novel, and I tell them much as I’ve said in the paras above. I used to tell my friends when I had a novel on the boil, but these days I don’t. They and I know it’s never going to be finished, and I’ll write something short and silly instead to free my creative juices.
That being said, I admit to having a novel halfway finished at the moment. I started it about a year ago and churned out 8,000 words in a couple of days during my Christmas holidays. It’s now sitting at 15,000 words and I haven’t touched it for months. I can’t find the mental brainspace to get back into it; work encroaches on my weekends these days, and in the evenings I truly want to switch off and be mindlessly entertained by the telly.
I’ve mentioned this poor misbegotten thing because in this case I do have to finish it, and finish it this year. It’s a fanfic (do NOT laugh) which I promised I’d complete for the 40th anniversary of the TV show it’s written about. I’m writing it in the style of the author of the books on which the TV show is based, which makes it even more of a challenge to finish. I suspect it will end up a novella rather than a novel, or a novel with Very Large Print. As it will never be published by a publisher, and I will never earn a cent from it, it’s a real labour of love. It’s also hanging like the Sword of Damocles over my head as my aim was to get it finished by the end of June.
Having admitted publicly I’m writing it, I’m now committed to completing it. (But if anyone asks you if I’m writing a novel, just tell them “no”.)