When mind and words don’t match

April 2, 2011 in Misc, Novel, On Writing, Study by pacejmiller

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I finished the first draft of chapter one of my novel project this morning but I feel surprisingly empty.

It’s a tad over 4000 words and I would prefer shorter, but that’s not the problem.  It’s just not as good as I wanted it to be.  Why is it that what’s in my mind never translates to the page as well as I want it to?  Why can’t my words ever do my imagination justice?

I can already spot a few problems.  Maybe it’s because my reading material as of late is nothing like the type of book I want to write.  I’ve been reading third person subjective character portraits in The Slap by Christos Tsialkos (review coming shortly) which I finally finished today (it’s a bloody long book).  It’s a great book but it’s too serious, too melodramatic, too reflective and too poignant.  Not exactly the influence I wanted for a blacker than black comedy.

Hopefully, that will change when I start reading stuff closer to what I want to write.  I’m reading Lolita again, and I’ll also be reading He Died with a Falafel in His Hand by John Birmingham and stuff by Frank Moorhouse and Shane Maloney.  Lots of reading doesn’t mean writing, but I’m becoming more and more convinced lately that what you read affects what you write.

I wanted chapter one to be mindblowing.  It’s okay at the moment, but it’s not mindblowing.  Yes, it’s only a first draft, but will I ever be able to mould it into what I have in my mind?  Do I have what it takes?