For me, that is. A real surprise. And maybe for you, for all I know.
After faffing around with the manuscripts of a couple of works in progress for a few months, I suddenly decided to go through the manuscript of A Good Place, the novel I had supposedly abandoned a while back. I had low expectations – none, really – and came to it with fresh eyes. I took out one thread that was over-complicating the plot and one character who wouldn’t be needed if that thread didn’t exist. I then decided to just slightly change the emphasis on the different threads that remained. And after that, it suddenly became the story I wanted to write. But the real difference was the voice. I sort of knew the voice I wanted to use, but it wouldn’t play ball. My voice. And now, suddenly, I had a work that was complete other than for a bit of gap-filling and the voice seemed to be working.
Another few weeks or months of work still required, but I finally feel I’m almost there.
That’s not to say it will then be finished, just a completed draft.
And then there is my project to research my family history and write it up in book form for the family. I finally finished the draft of the book and emailed it off to a couple of cousins who are also researching our history, for them to look through and comment on. Obviously there’ll be plenty of work to do to format and print the book, but other than any corrections coming from my cousins, it feels complete.
For most of last year I was struggling to think of myself as a writer. Inspiration had upped and left me and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write any more. I won’t go into any details, although I’ve posted about it so often in the past you must all be fed up with hearing about it. But I have so many works in progress of all sorts that it sort of numbs me when I decide I need to finish something. And as soon as I hit a snag I put the wretched thing aside and pick up something else. Which is obviously no way to get anything done. But now I feel I’ve all but finished one and am in the final straight with another, which leaves far fewer to work on.
It really does feel as though I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Now, should I start a new project or two…?