from behind the sofa

20140922_104608Yeah so I’m hiding behind the sofa. I’ve lobbed the laptop out of the window and I’m hiding where no one can find me. Specifically where the laptop and the story can’t find me because the story needs to find someone else to write it and the laptop is full of drivel.


Yes, I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. I thought I was making progress with the novel – another 2500 words written in the last few days – but then I read a bit back and oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Basically I’m floundering. I set off with an idea and a plan that – if I was writing a short story – would have been perfectly adequate but for a novel kind of leaves me high and dry. I’ve now written myself beyond the point where I had a plan and, although I know roughly where I’m going, I have lots of plot strands that I have no idea how to pull together. Honestly I’m starting to wonder if I have it in me to write a novel at all.

In contrast to this, I write quite a bit of flash fiction these days and one of the things I love about that is that the focus is small. You’re not trying to pull a zillion different strands together. You can go for simplicity and purity and intensity. You can work on the same couple of lines and hone them from a rough lump of rock to a smooth, gleaming pebble. I wrote a piece of flash fiction for my blog earlier this week. I didn’t work on it for long enough to get it smooth and gleaming (not even close) but even in the space of an hour I saw it go from an idea, to a rough outline, to a story that I thought was quite touching. And that was so satisfying, you know? And I compare that to how I’m currently feeling about my novel and it makes me wonder what on earth I’m doing. Maybe novel writing is not for me? Maybe I should work on improving my skills in other departments. I always did love a short story.

But then, I’ve come this far. I’ve written over 50,000 words. And I have other book ideas swimming round in my head too. I can’t just give up all my dreams of becoming a novelist now can I? Surely not. If someone could give me a hearty kick up the bum (metaphorically speaking, of course) I’d be very appreciative.

4 thoughts on “from behind the sofa

  1. Mummy Tries

    Consider your bottom has been kicked up ;-) Oh honey you sound how I felt last week! You know what though? The day after I posted about my self-doubt and sent my book off to a professional editor I had the most amazing news. One of the agencies I sent the first three chapters to want to see the full manuscript! So you see, one minute I’m thinking it’s pile of poo, and the next I’ve been asked to send the whole lot to an agency! I’m not counting chickens, far from it, but it was a lovely much needed boost all the same.

    I’m sure the novel isn’t in as bad a shape as you’ve currently convinced yourself it is. Maybe take a little break from it, rather than pushing yourself harder and harder to write more and more, just take a step backwards and concentrate on other things (like your flash fiction) for a week or two? The novel isn’t going anywhere and a break might be just the thing you need to get you back on track.

    Big hugs lovely lady xxx

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thank you so much for this lovely comment and Wow! what great news about your book! Fingers crossed it will lead to great things. It’s true, you never know what’s round the corner which is why we have to keep on truckin’ with this writing malarky. Interesting suggestion about taking a break from the book – I’ll think about that. xx

  2. Maddy Post author

    Thanks for the encouragement Sadie! I will try to follow my characters and hope they take me in the necessary direction – they can certainly be quite feisty at times! xx


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