Finding Focus

This week I put my holiday behind me (pic below – for you travel junkies out there) and made an attempt to start writing again. Many of you will know that I’d taken a break, for family reasons. It’s been almost two months since I worked on my manuscript and, although it felt lovely to be back with my trusted laptop, I did feel rather rusty and, dare I say, a little out of my depth.

France 2014

The first thing I realised is that I’d completely lost the story thread. Understandable, I suppose. But the fact that most of the story seemed alien to me made me start to wonder if I could really do it all again. I’ve said, many a time, that writing a novel is such a huge undertaking; when I begin a new book I’m never truly sure if I will actually finish it. I’m in awe of authors who type ‘the end’ to a book, then immediately open a new page and start another. It takes me ages to roll a story around my head, get to know the characters, work out the twists and turns. Then there’s the dreaded half way point (not far from where I am with my current script) where I want to tear my hair out in tufts and chuck them down the garden. I don’t, of course. I’m far too poor to afford a hair transplant. Instead I plough forward and, so far, I’ve managed to complete the task. But I’ve never had such a huge break before.

While I was on holiday, my lovely publisher announced that my 2017 title will be released on 2.5.17. Eek! Cue panic mode. It’s only half finished. My deadline is the end of October, just before the release of the 2016 title on 1st November. It’s tight. There’s still plot points to clear up, research to finish. After I’d reached for the wine bottle, I had to weigh up my options. I came to the conclusion that a deadline is going to do one of two things here: one, make me work like hell and finish the book in super quick time; or, two, zap all my creative spirit and make me throw my head into a pillow. I’m hoping for one, for obvious reasons. I do have a contract to satisfy, after all.

So I read through my outline and started putting pen to paper, and this week I added 3000 words to the script. I admit, my words are a little ‘Peter and Jane’ (sorry if you are too young for that – it’s a joke I shared with some other authors recently meaning wooden/simple) and don’t make a huge amount of sense at the moment. But it’s a start, and I experienced something akin to a rush of adrenalin at the thought of being immersed in the story and working with the delectable Will Jackman once more.

Suffice to say, the blog may be a little quiet from me for a while as I will have my head down over the next couple of months. I did read a couple of excellent books on holiday which I hope to share with you soon, and I do have an interview with brilliant debut author, Sam Carrington coming up. But, in the meantime, if you find me hanging around online, or procrastinating on Twitter, give me a kick and send me back to work. I’ll let you know how I get on. Fingers crossed I make the finishing line!

4 thoughts on “Finding Focus”

  1. Good Luck, Jane. I know exactly what you mean re how hard it is to get back into it again. I’m sure that once you immerse yourself in the voices of the characters, you’ll get swept up in the story and they’ll come alive and take you with them. Hope so! x


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