Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Weary and sad

I'm struggling with motivation, mostly because I had to write my dissertation for the MA, but partly because I'm feeling blue. They call it 'empty nest syndrome', but it's more than that, it feels like my whole purpose has been undermined. I had hoped to have a career in publishing to put in its place, but no news yet. The Secrets of Life and Death (Borrowed Time as was) is out, as of today (still) with seven publishers, one of which asked for a synopsis today. Who knows? Meantime, my kids are gathering ready to move out at the end of the summer, like swallows, but with loads more luggage. At least my daughter is home for a few days with her delightful fiance, to lighten the mood a little.

The rationale for the dissertation made me reflect on the crazy way I wrote Borrowed Time, and to focus on its weaknesses and strengths. It's from multiple points of view (POVs) which really don't help the narrative thread at all. You just get into one story - and you're off on another one. A Baby's Bones just has one narrator of each strand - easier - but I find the present tense in one strand a bit dislocating when I read it aloud. I do like the present, because there is no hint in what's going to happen but...I'm not sure. Feedback from the kind and generous Nicola Vincent-Abnett has given me ideas about restructuring for the next draft and about Felix's role in both books. I do have a next book featuring Felix, so maybe it would be worth writing him more evenly over the whole series now, rather than try and match up as I go along. Other ideas, too...

I wish I had the energy to get into it, but need to take a few days to get myself back on track. But time to get back to another editing project!

9 comments:

  1. I felt very purposeless after I resigned from my full-time job five years ago to stay home with the kids, who didn't need me as much as I needed something to do. It will get better. B vitamins maybe?

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    1. Maybe! I just feel a bit lost at the moment. Part of me just wants to jump into writing a new book and leave the editing behind...

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  2. It's interesting to read about your highs and lows. I haven't had the tenacity to stick at writing my books. 50k nanowrimo was enough. I admire you tremendously.
    Writing tears me into pieces. I appreciate the nuances of everyday in an intense way because of looking inside events as they happen??????? Our kids left home BTW. I felt like a bereft Mrs Ramsay in To the Lighthouse, but guess wot - they're back again. We're 3 houses into 1. gaaaaaaaaahhhhhh. and extra peeps and a business. wotamess. I don't mind the posh orange Cousances enamel saucepans though. (boast. brag)
    Multiple pov is supposed to be confusing. It does wake up the reader though. Books written in multiple pov make you read more carefully, and it stops you getting bored and predicting the ending. Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin is remarkable in that, amongst the time-jumps, it has a 3rd person pov which keeps you guessing at whose pov it is - (although you know, really). There's newspaper articles as well, which name the characters of course, and give that omniplonkers pov which was so badly explained on the OU CW course. And there's a thread of fantasy running through it. It's an amazingly constructed book. I started re-reading it straightaway, because now I understood it, I wanted to enjoy all her wonderful metaphorical writing again. - opened a random page:
    the smell of coal-dust in a cement-floored cellar; like the damp stones of a cave.
    Great read. it won the Booker Prize too.
    Love your blog. Hope you really meant it when you said you liked comments. rabbit rabbit
    Mon xx

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  3. Very posh saucepans. I've got Atwood's Blind Assassin but haven't read it yet, I'll give it a go! And yes, I really do like comments, it's lovely to know someone's read what you wrote (if you know what I mean!)Omniplonkers POV...I remember that bit, is that the technical term? (it is now).

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  4. Take your time and wind down, take care of yourself and soon you'll be back up to full energy! Good luck with your submissions.

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  5. Reb, I just started my rationale. Bleeechhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Misery loves company, right?

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    1. Apparently! I have just sent a first draft off to Carole, who knows what she'll say? Hope you're getting on better than me, my forehead has a dent exactly the shape of my desk, for some reason...Reb x

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    2. I'm at 706 words and stalling..............

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    3. Keep going! Your choice of POV and tense should be good for 500 words!

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