Monday, 23 November 2009

November Rain

I have Guns N' Roses' November Rain on repeat and am trying to find some kind of motivation. I've finished the 4th draft of Replacing Angel, but it doesn't feel finished.

My hardest critic and best friend, Sara, is reading my novel in progress from a philosophical point of view. She keeps questioning me why my characters say and do things. It gives me a headache trying to work it out myself; I need them to be idiosyncratic in their actions. Especially the Man who is a bit of a mad professor in a bad way.

I also feel a bit panicky as someone who might be able to put me in touch with an agent has asked me to send him the beginning of the novel and I feel that something is missing. That I need to put in more nerve. I hate abstractions and I hate words like idiosyncratic, but am also proud that I finally know what it means.

My novel feels trite when there are so many deaths in the world. This autumn I've found out about the deaths of four people. Well I only knew one of them and that's my grandma. The others were all young and died in unfortunate circumstances: a friend friend's boyfriend drowned when on holiday, a library colleague accidentally died from an overdose, and a poet I used to see at events was murdered. Even if I wasn't close to any of these people (apart from my gran)it still has affected me badly. Maybe I'm just reminded of my own mortality.

If it stopped raining I'd be a bit happier.


  1. I love the title of your new book by the way ;) Congratulations on finishing the first draft. I know what you mean about sometimes the art we produce feeling a bit - well, self indulgent in the face of all the suffering and 'bigger' things in the world. I also struggle with creating motivation for every single thing my characters do, and like there to be some spontaneity!

  2. If the energy we put into creation didn't go into writing, it would surely go into increasing the amount of negativity in the world, if only just via apathy. If you feel really bad about the selfishness of art you can go and help out at a homeless shelter - I want to start doing something like this - but don't for that reason deny yourself exercising precious gift of creativity which is, after all, all that will truly survive of you after death.