Thursday, 21 April 2016

Nearly there - by Anne Booth

It is the 20th April - so tomorrow is my blog post date. I am nearly there.

I am writing my third middle grade novel and need to finish the first draft this month - after setbacks because of illness I am nearly there.

The book is set in Lindisfarne, which I have visited and stayed on lots of times and really love.  I had hoped to return there whilst writing my first draft but got ill and had to cancel. I will now be going there in May for a couple of days, and hope to be able to just add a sprinkling of details to the first draft and check I have local details right. But I will have to hand in the first draft before that so I am working from memories and imagination and books. In my mind, I am nearly there.

A friend told me that a vicar she knows says that often, when he is preaching a sermon on a particular subject, the week before he is due to preach it he has to deal with something relevant to it in his own life. Amongst other things my new novel deals with the problem of knowing what you really believe and being true to yourself , and coping with exposure and possible negative fall out. And in thinking about this I have had a very strange experience this past week with a local campaign to stop a school being made into an academy, and I have had to face the things I am putting my heroine through - I have had to try to be brave and tell people openly who live near me what I really think and cope with them not agreeing with me, and I have had to experience anxiety about this and worrying what they think of me afterwards. It's not quite what happens to my heroine in my story...but it's nearly there.

So I am trying my best, but as an introvert writer who has not had great health these last months, the whole campaigning thing is very tiring, and today I got so anxious and panicked about it all I realise I need to get away as I am getting a bit overwhelmed. I have done lots and lots for the campaign now and found lots of relevant articles and information and shared them, and written posts, but it is now up to other parents to do their bit. I need to finish my book. And so I am going away. I remembered I bid in an auction to raise money for Nepal, and I had won some days at Philippa Lockwood's writers' retreat. So I facebooked her today and I am so lucky as she has some days free and I am going away for four nights. And it is by the sea, so I can imagine I am on Lindisfarne, and I asked her what seabirds there are and it seems there are terns and curlews and others on Lindisfarne, and I think, when I get there, I think I will feel I am almost there.

And I am going on Friday, so I am nearly there.

But I need to write the story as well as I can, so that people who read about Eve, and William, my characters, and meet them on Lindisfarne.. will feel not that they are almost there, but they actually ARE there with them, experiencing their emotions, seeing what they see, feeling, hearing, touching, smelling what they smell, living the story with them

I'm definitely not yet at that stage with my story.  It's ever so hard but I want to get there. I hope my agent's advice and a skilful editor will help. I hope I am nearly there.

1 comment:

Sue Purkiss said...

Good luck! Lindisfarne is one of my favourite places, though it's quite a few years since I've been there.