I wanted to talk for a little while tonight about how our stories etc take on a mind of their own. Take The Epic. It is now close on 25,000 words but it is not happy. It keeps sending me back to parts already written and telling me to add more or make changes. Only two days ago, it opened up several entirely new threads which will be vital to the story. But how am I supposed to carry on moving on and writing it at all when it keeps taking me back to earlier chapters? Every time I pick up the pen, the ink and the paper act as if there is some psychic link between them and suddenly I find another 1000 words have appeared from nowhere. Yet all the time there is this weird niggly feeling that I am writing beyond where the story itself wants to be! Now I know that J K Rowling had written the last page of the seventh Harry Potter book long before the first book was actually published - and that the rest of it came along as and when, so maybe she had the same ... problem. As for me, well, I think I am discovering for the first time ever, after a writing career spanning almost forty years, what it is like to actually be a writer. I don't mean that to sound facetious. But I can pretty much honestly say that until The Epic, I thought I was the one who made all the decisions about scenarios and characters. I am now fast coming to believe that it is actually The Epic that's in charge. Totally bizarre!
Last week - to change the subject - I had my first coaching session with the young boy - let's call him Michael - and tomorrow night we have the next one. We spent the first half hour or so up in his room as his little brother slept on the top bunk, just talking and getting to know each other a little. I gave him a short questionnaire to fill out and his answers will help me to shape how future sessions will go. This is something I have never heard of happening before. There are tennis coaches, dance coaches, football coaches, you name it - but I am yet to come across another Writing coach, especially for an almost 11 year old like Michael. It seems I am destined to spend my life pioneering creative writing for children. How exciting is that? And to get the chance to work so closely with one small boy with an outsize imagination is pure joy. I can hardly wait till tomorrow night! I could really have done with this kind of guidance when I set out on this Rocky Road. Anyway I will keep you updated. I know how much you all care for all the fact you are silent - otherwise why would you keep reading my blog? And I appreciate that, I really do, so Thank You.
If you decide to break your silence and get in touch maybe you can tell me if you are encountering the same obstacles as I am with The Epic? All comments gratefully received.
Good Writing everyone.