I think that is a redundant ‘co’, but never-mind.
I’ve just been reading an excellent article, the Wives of Great Male Authors, looking at the relationship (often male ‘dominated’ or led) where the wife of a famous, successful male author is often the inspiration and organiser both for that success. They often act as anything from sounding-boards all the way up to co-authors in their own right, albeit without the sharing of that credit.
Other than the main thrust of the article there are two main themes that interested me; that sharing of talent to create something that works, and that genius or talent often isn’t enough.
I can’t imagine writing with someone to that degree, I really wouldn’t know where to start, and frankly, I think I am a little too possessive and protective of what I do. Very much something I will have to learn to let go of as my novels develop and readers come on board to test and criticise and push the boundaries of what I write.
The other factor is one I have always been aware and, all too often, sadly deficient in. No matter how good I am (or am perceived to be) at writing, it means nothing without organisation, hard work and discipline. Luckily, through Twitter and NaNoWriMo I have met a number of writers and now follow a number of authors whose example and encouragement has resulted in a steady growth in my development in this area. Inspiration all. It would certainly be interesting to find out how much of their success and endeavour is the result of the support of another, and how much of it is solitary in nature.
For several years now I have had several stories floating around in my head (haven’t we all?).
I was very pleased with what I had written but I was also distinctly dissatisfied, an unusual place to be some third of the way through the story. Essentially, whilst it had organically grown to incorporate several strong (and a couple of weak) story threads it had lost the ambience/feel that I was after, and the main theme at the heart of the story had been submerged by all the rest of it.
This weekend I had a good think about what I had written and decided to split the story into two stories, retaining the elements that best reflect the story as I originally envisaged it (provisionally named ‘As Yet Untitled’. Yes, I know.).
The rest will fairly easily flow into another story I have been tinkering with over the last couple of years and, in fact, will help solve a couple of plot issues I had with it. All good.
So why the change?
I wanted AYU to have a contemporary and yet fantastical feel to it, without straying into ‘fantasy’. Unfortunately it had quite strongly done so, which very much weakened both the contemporary and fantastical threads I wanted to convey. Now I can do so with an easier mind and more opportunity to develop the central themes and plotlines.
This also allows me to recycle some of the other stronger and (hopefully) more inspired plotlines and characters into the other story, where they better fit with the fantasy environment they so obviously deserve.
The upshot is, having spent the last couple of months since NaNo in a bit of a funk, I am feeling that I can now focus on writing, and writing to a end goal that I can now see, having cleared away the obstacles and set the path.
Let the writing commence…