Thursday, August 10, 2017


It's good to be well again. Antibiotics are wonderful, even if reading the list of possible side effects sends you witless, and you have to forego your one glass of wine a day at teatime* because alcohol is not allowed. 

I had a great idea for a blog post on Tuesday morning but Dave was out for the day and I put it on one side to write the novel instead. Guess what? I wrote for 5 hours and produced 3000 words. It was amazing. Dave came home and laughed and said maybe I'd open my laptop the next day and find everything I'd written was drug-induced gibberish. Also he said it was like the scene in The Mighty Wind when Mitch gets his Mojo back and starts writing at 200 words per minute.

Fortunately the words weren't gibberish. They were a pretty good shitty first draft (that's a technical term used by writers.) You know I said I am writing this book in a different way from all the others? Usually I plan the whole thing out and this time I am flying by the seat of my pants.

Well, I've got to the stage now where I have to decide how it ends - happy or sad. It's a momentous decision. I have never before made an ending sad. Comments welcome. Hey, maybe I'd stand a better chance of having a best seller if it was sad - you know how darkness rules these days...

* Teatime -
When I was in the States I had an interesting conversation about tea and teatime. A native I was talking to was puzzled by the double use of the word - tea meaning the drink and tea meaning the meal. Then we got onto the fact that there is afternoon tea and high tea, and then I explained that people in the midlands and north don't have dinner in the evening, they have tea, and that a relation in the south calls her evening meal supper. By the end of the conversation, the American was more bamboozled than enlightened, and I hadn't even explained that in our house at midday the terms lunch and dinner are interchangable.

I have other stuff to say about all kinds of things, but it's time to go to my sax lesson.


Anonymous said...

Glad your writing is storming ahead. I would vote for a happy ending everytime. Guess you could give a choice of endings? But perhaps that's a bit of a copout? Either way I hope the words continue to flow. Sally x

Anonymous said...

as a total ignoramus - doesn't the nature of the ending grow from a particular kind of seed planted much earlier?
Perhaps play with seed options and see which feels most interesting? Or does the process demand you know outcomes in advance?

I love an ending which sends you leafing back to understand the turning point you didn't spot at the time.
Whether happy, sad or ambiguous.

So glad the writing is going well.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks Sally. I spoke too soon. Still not better.šŸ˜Ÿ

Anonymous - very interesting, and will respond later.

Sue Hepworth said...

Firstly, I realise I was responding to a tweet of Sally's not her comment above - sorry Sally.

As for the seeds and the endings...
Always in the past I have had the book planned out from beginning to end - the basic plot and structure - so I have known the ending before I began. This time I started without that plan, but with more of an idea, loosely formed, and I launched in, getting to know my characters as I went along. I am working iteratively, and also I have some gaps I need to go back and fill in. I am still getting to know my characters and their backstory and this whole thing is a first rough draft. Whatever I decide, I can go back and amend the text to make the ending work. The novel is largely character and theme driven, not plot driven. I wish I could write plot-driven novels but I can't. Plot is a necessary evil in my view to keep people turning the pages. Maybe that's why two of my novels have 'Plotting' in the title. Over and out.