Reader, it’s a funny thing, last week I had myself tied in knots about my writing.
I had lost my way and didn’t even know where I’d gone wrong. After talking to Dave (Man Of The Trucks), who I must say has not read the full first draft, who gave me a good telling off for not sticking to my original idea. I began to see a glimmer of what had happened. Still I was not quite convinced. Next I spoke to my very good friend and one of my Alpha Readers, and she said the same, only maybe more nicely phrased.
She reminded me that my story was not a romance, but an historical novel with a romantic sub plot. Again, seeking reassurance, we writer’s are a fragile lot, I spoke to another good friend and alpha reader. Guess what reader, she said the same thing. These good friends and butt kickers have reminded me of what I love about my story. Yes there is a romantic element, but the real story is about Maddy and her moving to New South Wales in 1831. Her struggles to make a place for herself, both in the new and unknown country and a new and emerging society.
I’m excited again reader, I’m ready to dive in, get the edit/rewrite done and out of the way for NaNoWriMo.
Here comes Saturday and I have a full day ahead, I have no other commitments, I can sit under the tree, coffee at my side, chickens clucking, dogs snoring, cat tying me up in his elastic lead.
Wait, all is not as blissful as it seems reader, Friday night throws a nasty stink bomb. I found some amazing excerpts about the Wyndham family. This is brilliant, Maddy’s real life neighbours have left a wonderful trail of crumbs to follow. A window into their life and therefore, Maddy’s part imaginary, part real world.
I read a sentence that caused me to wonder if I’d misunderstood where the Wyndham family were living in 1831/32. As Maddy visits there regularly and Daniel lives with them, I had to get it right. Saturday morning rolls around, cue coffee and laptop, dogs, cats and chickens. I’ll just check the dates, better to sort it now than have to back track and fix up crucial scenes.
Oh reader, what a dilemma!
I couldn’t find the reference, in my endless scrolling through web pages and my history, I accidentally clicked on the “clear history” tab. Gone, all the sites I’d read through the night before. Agony.
So I began a 5 hour hunt for the missing article. Did I find it? NOPE!
In despair I gave up, disheartened and wondering what I was doing trying to write an historical novel. I was not up to the task if I couldn’t even remember to bookmark important documents.
I shuffled inside, shoulders slumped, I chucked the fourteenth coffee (slight exaggeration) down the sink as I passed and wandered into the office and looked around. There, on the printer, what is that? OH MY GOODNESS!!!
Reader, I had actually printed the article. There it was, sitting patiently waiting for me to discover it. Relief and chagrin fought within me! Laugh out Loud, I was saved.
I read through it to find that I was correct in the first place, the Wyndham’s were living at Dalwood for the period I’d chosen to set “On the River Bank”.
Long story short reader, I hadn’t needed the information after all. I had nothing to change in my story, so I’d wasted almost 6 hours of precious editing time.