12 March 2012

I had thought that I would be able to avoid what happened yesterday. I felt that I’d put the climax of the novel in the right spot and that what I’ve been writing the past several months was the novel that I wanted to write, with all the things in their rightful places.

And then yesterday happened and I realised that actually, I’ve put the climax in the wrong spot again. But what I’m starting to understand about myself is that this is what happens. I work on the plot until I’m sick to death of it, and then I start writing but it’s only after I’ve written two thirds of several drafts that two things occur to me. The first is that the climax is in the wrong spot. The second is where the climax ought to go.

By climax I mean the thing that starts the novel off in my head. The little moment or incident that I build the plot and story around. In this case, it’s when Heather hires the stalker. I thought that should happen at the start, that it was an action. But now I’ve come to see that it’s a reaction – she does it because of several factors. It comes later in the novel, and the thing I want to write about (that I didn’t know until yesterday) is the build up to her hiring the stalker.

I came to this conclusion in a way I now recognise as the usual way. At about two thirds of the way through a draft, I get to a point where I’m losing interest in the novel, in the writing. And this novel was exactly the same. Not enough dialogue for me, too many repetitive thinky bits…

So yesterday, I wrote down the new plot. It came so quickly, and included details like actual dialogue, that I know this is the one. I say that every time, but I think now I’ve cracked it.

I suppose only time will tell…