Yes, I have started draft three of my still untitled novel. I know regular readers will be despairing, thinking “ah for the love of God woman, just finish the Jaysus thing already” and I feel your pain. I’m sure my friends and family are secretly thinking along the same lines.
Here’s the thing: writing a novel is the longest creative process I can think of. You can make a film, or paint an entire series of work, or write and record an album in less time. I started writing this book in September of 2010 and I doubt I’ll get draft three finished before the end of 2012, so all in all it will take perhaps two and a half years for this novel to be ready. Given that I’m the most impatient person I know, I have probably picked the wrong career! But it takes as long as it takes and I have to see it through and make sure it’s the best I can do.
Draft three will entail quite a lot of work as I am changing the main character’s story from third person narrative into first person. Despite the fact that I’m staring into a schedule of serious work I’m excited about it and so far it’s a lot of fun. And that’s why I started writing in the first place: because it’s fun, I enjoy it more than almost anything else and it makes me very happy to do a great day’s work.
For an insight into a writer’s mind check out this brilliant piece by David Foster Wallace which was recently published in the Guardian. The opening paragraph made me laugh with its humour and accuracy. Enjoy!
“The best metaphor I know of for being a fiction writer is in Don DeLillo’s Mao II, where he describes a book-in-progress as a kind of hideously damaged infant that follows the writer around, forever crawling after the writer (ie, dragging itself across the floor of restaurants where the writer’s trying to eat, appearing at the foot of the bed first thing in the morning, etc), hideously defective, hydrocephalic and noseless and flipper-armed and incontinent and retarded and dribbling cerebrospinal fluid out of its mouth as it mewls and blurbles and cries out to the writer, wanting love, wanting the very thing its hideousness guarantees it’ll get: the writer’s complete attention.”