I’ve written over 3,500 words of my novel and I’ve just discovered that my protagonist collects found objects as a hobby. I hadn’t known this before, but the habit has just appeared in my writing of her and I like it. I am not quite sure what it might say about her, or the themes in the novel, but I am aware that perhaps she collects them because she feels as lost as they are in the world. I have this vision of her getting a tattoo in her adult life (she’s only eleven at the minute) of one of the objects she treasures most – stubs of pencils – because of the stories they have helped to tell. This tattoo will then play an important part in her being identified by one of the secondary characters later in the novel.
It’s great to feel like such idiosyncratic details are coming together in such a serendipitous way: like my brain has already worked out all these little pieces and is now stitching them together, like a great big patchwork quilt. I’m dying to get on with the story – where my protagonist is older and causing havoc in some one else’s marriage, for example – but I’m not there yet so I can’t. I’m still in the period of her life when she is a child and no one quite believes the stories she has to share.
Writing the novel chronologically is altering the plot line ever so intricately. Aspects of it are weaving themselves together with thread so tight that they could never be pulled apart. I’m sure there will be a few ragged edges and even a number of loose threads here and there when I’m done, but I will still have created something, and it might even be a functioning, practical prototype of something amazing.