So I met up with my supervisor again recently, and the feedback was good. Much better than I had anticipated.
To be honest, it was a bit of a lazy effort on my part — not in all the sleepless nights I had trying to think of different ways to approach the writing and the countless hours I spent piecing it all together — but rather, in terms of the actual amount of time I spent writing and editing.
After our first meeting, I dumped what was supposed to be the first chapter and started again. Looking back at it now, it was the right decision because it wasn’t what I wanted to write. It didn’t matter if it was any good. What mattered was that it wasn’t the type of book I intended. So out it went and I started over.
This time, I just typed down whatever came to me. It was easy and I sped through it. I think it was as close to ‘free writing’ as I’ve come in a long time. It’s been a really long time, considering free writing was one of the first things I wrote about on this blog like two years ago, and I haven’t done much of it since. I just belted out the story without worrying about form or structure, deciding that I was not going to worry about it now and will fix everything up later. The only bit I put a bit more effort into was chapter one, but even that was a pretty casual effort.
As it turned out, it was the best thing I could have done. The result was a little raw, somewhat rough around the edges, but it was the type of book I wanted to write. Finally, I was getting close to discovering the right voice. And my supervisor was happy with how it was progressing. Joy.
It’s going to be a busy few weeks coming up. I still have to finish a couple of books I borrowed from the library, plus another book I bought from the Book Depository — all three will supposedly help me with finding my stylistic mojo. I have a book launch to attend at an upcoming writers’ festival (And yes, it’s MY book! Well, mine and a bunch of other people’s, but it’s still MINE!), and most of all, I need to do a lot more writing with the project deadline coming up in a little over a month.
The next step is to write a bit more (I have a few chapters lined up, actually), but because the project does not requre me to finish the entire book, I will have to do some serious rewriting shortly. The key is to develop the humour so that’s punchier, more even and with less cheap shots (I have a tendency to go for the low blow) and craft each chapter so that it can stand on its own, almost like a short story.
A weird analogy here but I’m looking for inspiration in some of the shows that Larry David wrote, such as Seinfeld and Curb. I’m in awe of David’s ability to create various strands in an episode and allowing them to intertwine before bringing them all together at the end and making the story go full circle. That’s the type of legendary stuff I need to come up with.
PS: On another note, on one sleepless night I came up with a new idea for a book. It’s not a novel, but is a potentially lucrative idea. Or so I reckon.