Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Auditioning a new protagonist

I know I've not posted for a while, but I am still here.

Basically I'm busy at work during the week, spending time tutoring the OU course at weekends, reading some Welsh and doing no writing.

I'm still taking photos though and also thinking hard about the current WIP.

At a time when many people are busy beavering away at their NaNoWriMo novels, I'm producing zero words. Daily quotas are great for when I have a novel rolling because in that case I just want to produce more of the same, otherwise the novel would be patchy and uneven. The priority is just to plough on through to the end. Ditto with revision passes.

Getting this new novel going, however, is turning out to be another matter entirely. I've got two false starts at the moment and though it recently showed signs of life and I could write it as it is, I came to the sad conclusion that I would just end up with another competent novel that will never sell because it's not got that spark of whatever it is that makes it interesting and different.

Basically the novel had suffered an attack of the Blands. :(

I went and had a look at Donald Maas's Writing the breakout novel, whereupon I found the notes I'd made when doing some early planning for the WIP. It was all there, my thoughts on how to make the protag interesting and sympathetic and dynamic. And I'd just let it all slide into the usual blandness yet again. Aaaarrgh!

So I'm fiddling around at the moment, not really writing and trying to work out what would make this novel really take off. Firstly I'm auditioning for a new leading lady. Earlier this week, during the drive home, I managed to have a serious talk with the current protag, during which I explained that things really weren't working out. I'm pleased to say that Bethany has now accepted a transfer to another novel which has more of an ensemble cast. I think she'll do well there, but I need someone with more oomph for this one. Secondly I think the book needs to be in first person. I did get an opening line and a more distinctive voice, so I'm hoping that it might be third time lucky and I'll finally get an opening that's going to work.

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