A few days ago I read a blog post whereupon a very brave individual announced she was going to move on from her current work in progress and no longer struggle her way to completing it. I read this post with amazement and a subtle sense of familiarity. I thought about how much anguish the WIP might have caused in the making of it, and how this author was now going to put it away and take all those lessons learned to dedicate to another challenge.
The reason it hit me so hard, and why it has prompted this post, is that I wonder if this is what might happen to my first attempt at a novel: my current WIP – the one with Madeline and Penelope.
I know that the current section of the text isn’t going as smoothly as the rest – that I’m pondering over every act, trying to make it fit into what I believe should be happening and then coming away confused when it doesn’t turn out that way. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the process – because Madeline and Penelope fascinate me just by being so mysteriously stubborn that they only way I can get to know them is by writing them. But still: I set out on this journey with the idea that this was going to be a good novel, and now I’m not so sure.
Oh, it still has the potential to be a good novel, don’t get me wrong, I believe that. I just can’t help but be concerned that because this novel is my first foray into the world of authorship on this scale, I will somehow end up with a first draft that needs an entire re-write: and do I have the passion, the determination, the stamina for that?
I don’t know.
What I do know is I’m not yet at a stage where I need to make that decision. I have an undeniable ache that makes me want to finish this novel, to at least see it through to that final page. Only then, perhaps, can I determine whether or not this story is the one I am still desperate to tell, and if so, then I can at least rescue it from the depths of all those novice mistakes and with new found confidence and capabilities write it the way it deserves to be told.