There, I said it.
My book: destroying everything in it's path...
It's this huge, lumbering, unwieldy thing with bright blue fur, three heads, six inch talons, fangs, four wings, a long spiky tail and ten eyes. It won't do what I tell it to do. It won't listen to me - it's own creator! How rude - it just keeps lumbering along, occasionally gaining momentum but then slowing down to a halt to graze on green leaves and possibly the souls of small children (just joking - or am I...?) before running away from me again. I'm constantly running after it, panting and shouting at it to stop, but it simply takes no notice. It makes no sense - it shouldn't exist and it goes against everything I've ever believed as a writer, and yet - I love it.
I love it despite the fact it has a fat middle, a non-coherent beginning and a fairly decent, if somewhat abrupt, ending (well, the last scene anyway - let's not talk about the chapters before it). I love the fact that by writing absolute nonsense, I'm learning more and more about my main character every day - some days I love him, other days I wonder why on earth I ever bothered to write him in the first place and sometimes, just sometimes, he terrifies me and takes my breath away. I love learning more about my supporting characters and where they fit and why. I love writing scenes, knowing they will never make it into the final book, or they will have to be so heavily edited they won't be recognisable anymore; but it's only through writing what I don't want in the book, that I can start to discover what I do want in it. I especially love discovering more about the world they all inhabit, and how I can bring that world to life on the page.
I chose to do NaNoWriMo because I wanted to challenge myself as a writer. I wanted to try something new, something completely different to what I've done before. And I'm so glad I took the plunge.
Come December, I'll hopefully have 80,000+ words to work with on this WIP. It's a daunting task, but you know what? I'm so looking forward to taming this beast. I'm looking forward to wrestling with it, shaving off all that fur, clipping back the talons and untangling all those knots, to see what beauty lies beneath. Maybe there won't be any. Maybe I'll do all that work and discover it wasn't the book I thought it was, or the book I wanted it to be. But that's ok. This is what writers do - we write, we rewrite and, if we have to, we scrap it and start the whole process over again.
A few months ago, the thought of ditching a project, or coming to the end of a book and discovering it might not be publishable didn't make any sense to me. Why go through all that frustration and pain and heartbreak? But now, I'm slowly starting to realise that no matter how long it takes, or how many times you have to start over, some things are worth fighting for. I firmly believe that this book is worth fighting for - I will do whatever it takes, however long it takes - until it's done. It might take me a couple of months - most likely it will take me years. But that's ok. I'm going to keep chipping away at the beast, word by word, chapter by chapter, until one day, I can stand back and be proud of what I've achieved.
My book is a beast - but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Calcifier: a much more manageable demon
Is your book a beast? How do you 'tame' your novel? How's your NaNoWriMo going? What's your favourite Studio Ghibli film?