What do you do when you think you’ve finished, but it’s really only a draft?
Now I look at it again…I’ve found infelicities: sentences that go on and on and cliches and ‘-ngs’ and ‘-isations’ that I somehow failed to see before. And inconsistencies that have demanded a lot of working out on bits of paper: dates of events, ages of people, things happening in the wrong order, wrong flowers or birds for the time of year.
But the biggest task confronting me has been to weld this draft into a coherent, nicely shaped novel instead of a series of episodes (‘this happened and then this happened’). I think I’ve achieved this. I’ve worked hard to weave the story lines and themes together and to ensure that the characters remain in play throughout as far as it’s possible, rather than allowing them to appear and then disappear. This last is quite tricky when writing about Internet dating , which is a important part of the action, since Internet dating necessarily involves a lot of short-lived relationships. Unless your protagonist strikes gold on her first date – mine doesn’t. In the case of my two child characters it’s been difficult to give them much of a role before they can speak.
Finally, the biggest dilemma is to do with philosophy/humanism/religion/social problems and whether these serious topics are out of place in the midst of the sex and the dating. I’m hoping to give the world the Great Dating and Humanism novel! I’m awaiting feedback from the UEA examiners in the hope they will give me a steer about this. I’ll try and explain the problem in my next blog.