I glance out of my window. Rain has come and ended a long period of sunshine. The clouds are forecast to part tomorrow. This momentary transition of weather from brightness into solemnity is appropriate this morning. I have been working everyday for the last two months on the first draft for my novel (working title: Flat 21). As I wrote the final paragraph and the rains fell, that thrill of the unknown — the trepidation of adding another 1,000 words to this invented world — dissipated and will no longer be here tomorrow. Tomorrow I must move on.
It’s been quite a journey. It’s been ardous and joyful. Sometimes I wanted to quit. Sometimes I didn’t want to stop. I changed routes, backtracked, took diversions. But on the whole I enjoyed my daily jaunt of words. And I finished roughly where I wanted to be. Currently the outlook isn’t bad — just a little hazy.
Because I prefer to write and invent as I go, I see everything as placeholders right now — a pencil sketch upon which I will layer the paint, blending dark into light to bulk up the shadows later. I don’t want to give too much away. Not because I want to withhold suspense — as if anyone will actually read it — but because I’ll probably put up another post contradicting myself. (It’s already changed somewhat since inception.) But isn’t that the nature of storytelling, the process of drafting? Characters change, themes emerge, subplots develop — others die off. Nothing is ever fixed.
All I can say now is that it concerns a man who wakes up in hospital unable to recall who he is. Over the course of the story he pieces together his memories as he attempts to reintegrate. But what if the person you find out you are is not the person you thought? It will touch on themes of mental illness, suicide, crime, penal reform, revenge, and the death of love. And maybe I’m being a little ambitious, but currently it also features theories of multiple universes and the nature of reality — how do we know what is real, how do we know we are not dreaming?
So what’s next? More research — I’ve compiled a reading list as I’ve gone along — while I get some distance from the words themselves. Perhaps write short stories, enter some competitions before I take up the trek a second time later in the summer.