Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Shop Girl the Writer (2)
I’m working on a novel.
This is how I do it:
I buy a floppy, A4 notebook with a plasticised cover for £3.25.
This is all the money I have so I don’t buy a new pen.
Instead I find a hotel freebie with a scratchy tip.
I think about the holiday that led me to this pen while I sip my first coffee.
Next I scribble.
I scribble ideas for the plot mixed with acute observations such as: ‘this pen is really rubbish’ and ’I’m hungry’
After a while I tell my Fiancé about my new ideas.
He looks thoughtful then says, ‘Yeah but what if...’
And comes up with something infinitely better.
I feel stupid because I’ve been at it for ages and he’s had five minutes.
On the other hand I’m delighted because the book is starting to take shape.
I’m also pretty smug I made such a good choice and said ‘yes’ to this man with all the good ideas.
‘It should be your name on the front cover,’ I say.
Eventually I begin the first few chapters.
I write in third person, trying out a new style.
It’s slow-going. There are so many temptations like twitter and toast.
I eat a lot of toast.
Finally I take the new chapters to my writers’ group.
There are mixed feelings about the style.
‘What’s the readership?’
‘It’s not supposed to be a kid’s book if that’s what you mean.’
Damn, they think it sounds like a kids’ book.
My two main characters are only 8 years old at the start of the book and the narrator comes across equally young.
‘Perhaps you should write it in the first person,’ someone else says.
To stop or to continue?
Is it too early to share my novel when so much is still undecided?
I read over the chapters in bed and decide it won’t hurt to give it a go in first person.
‘You know your readers are expecting a Shop Girl 2 sort of book,’ a friend says.
Well, here goes:
I’m not writing a Shop Girl 2 sort of book.
Are you still there?
I could put a shop somewhere in my story if that helps?
I mean my characters will have to buy something at some point.