I’ve spent the weekend attempting to reignite my passon for my novel writing. What I am fast realising is that I simply don’t know the two central characters of this section I’m struggling with well enough yet to know what type of relationship they should have: I mean, I know what I want it to be, but the characters themselves are not yet well moulded enough to provide that on the page.
So, I have made the decision to cease writing the novel and concentrate on my characters for a little while. By that I mean that I am going to delve into their back-story, figure out what makes them who they are, and then move forward to see how they may have been changed by one another in the future, when the two are no longer in touch. Any writing that I’ll be doing will be connected to this, rather than being a contribution to the novel itself. Although I suspect there may be snippets of what I may write that could make an appearance in the novel, I am not going to think of it as writing the novel at all.
I want to see where these two characters take me. Perhaps the reason I can’t write their interaction is because I’ve plotted it incorrectly and my subconcious is trying to warn me that this just won’t work. Or maybe my muse is absent without leave and I have to tempt her back with some imaginative deconstruction of the people she is suggesting I should create. Whatever the reasons, I do feel that I don’t know Madeline and Penelope well enough in this era of their lives to do justice to the complexity of their relationship and what it has to tell the reader eventually.
Madeline is my inspiration – she is the character the novel hinges on, and while I know a lot abot her I realise I haven’t quite determined what her rationale for her upcoming actions really are. As for Penelope, she is a character dreamt up precisely for this section of the story, and I really haven’t allowed myself enough time to understand her or to appreciate the value she might being to the plot. So, I’m off to go and make friends with my characters, get to know them, ask inappropriate and potentially awkward questions of their past, their present and their potential future. After all, how can I write them if I don’t know them?