As is my way I have been bitten hard by an idea for a story. This time I decided it would be a novella. 13.5k words in, with the plan to get to around 26k words I am typically going through my characteristic angst of where is it leading? Problems of plot are niggling like itchy little worms in my soul.
Characters have been created and mostly what will happen is up to them. This makes me nervous. I should know by now that I ought to relax and let them get on with it. I think things through quite a bit but by the time I sit down to write, I end up with some of my ideas but mainly it’s the protagonists who dictate to me what they are going to do and how they are going to do it.
So much for control, I created this little world but once the characters get to live in it, it is they who snatch the control away. Who am I to argue with them?
What really worries me is that I spend hours writing and when I eventually give it to my most valued critic, my well-read and painfully discerning mother, I then have to wait for either the beaming smile or the irritated nose twitch. Oh how I dread the nose twitch. Luckily it doesn’t happen often but when it does, I get really upset. The reason I get really upset is because I will already have had my own doubts but hope that’s all they are just the usual writer niggles. But once the nose wrinkles with dissatisfaction my heart sinks because I’ve had my fears confirmed. I know the nose is never wrong.
There is no in between, I pretty much know it will be a beaming smile and enthusiasm or the damning nose twitch. If it is the former, I pass it on to my second critic who is terribly diplomatic and generally starts with “if I can just suggest” or “I know you won’t like me saying this” or some other tactful phrase to gently guide me.
The nose twitch pretty much tells me this story is a non-goer. It is followed by the down-turned mouth and furrowed brow. Once all this has taken place I know a complete rewrite is on the cards.
Despite the initial disappointment when this happens, I have to admit it does me the world of good. Rewriting always spurs me on to do much better and get the result that will earn the beaming smile.
Who’d have thought a nose would have so much influence on my writing!