Monthly Archives: April 2012

Three Little Novels, All in a Row

So here’s what happened…

When I first conceived of the novel I am currently working on, it was meant to be in three parts. In one part the main character, Wendy, was 9 years old. In another, she was 19. And in the third, she was 29. The three different timelines were going to be woven together in alternating chapters. The point was that in the last chapter, the reader would discover something about Wendy, something that happened to her when she was 9, that in some way illuminated her behaviour in the other two timelines, when she is older.

I started writing in this way and eventually ditched the story altogether (as I did with three or four other ‘second novels’ around the same time).

When I finally came back to it I felt that the story of Wendy at 9 was the one that really interested me, and that perhaps the reason I was having trouble writing was that the three strand story felt too big, too overwhelming. So, as you know if you’ve been reading this blog at all…I got started on the smaller story…with the help of an outline and and and it all started going rather swimmingly.

Well, I’m almost done writing that story. Only two or three bullet points left on the outline. Which is great. But here’s the thing. Now I’m realizing that I might actually need to write the other two timelines now. Not only am I short on words (which can only be bulked out so much before you’re just writing ‘filler’), but I feel like the story needs to be grounded in the broader context of Wendy ‘all grown up’.

So now, I want this novel to be a story in three books. In book one, Wendy is 30, in book two, she’s 20 and in book three she is 10. Three separate narratives.

Which is great…except, I was all excited about coming to the end of my outline, and now I have to do it all over again…twice…before a first draft is even finished. I went from not being able to write one novel, to forcing myself to write three little ones in a row!

So it’s still going to be awhile before this book will be a complete work that you can read…until then, read this. Hopefully by the time it’s completed next year…I will be too.