WRITING THAT DAMN NOVEL
Although I'm largely recovered from depression, I still get the glooms, and they're usually centred on one thing, and one thing alone: Writing my humungous novel. The desperate need to ‘get it out there’.
Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of a devastating cowgirl who's the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual. It was in my head throughout young parenthood and depression. My protagonist’s name was there almost from the start as was much of the detail. The story grew, and of course I was embarrassed by the subject matter.
Part of my depression centred upon my deep interest in the west and my fascination in the roles of the women who thrived in the more traditionally ‘male’ roles. I wanted to demonstrate to society at large that this certainly did happen and, as a result, I felt very strongly the need to get my story out.
I started it all those years ago when my daughter was born, although the germ of an idea had dawned and developed before that. Husband had said: ‘You need to write that novel.’.
So I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote.
I used to say I had over one hundred chapters, but no - some of my chapters are sometimes only a quarter of a page long, so we think it may be half that. If we keep working on those chapters - at least one a day, perhaps - slowly but surely we are getting there!
I am concerned about the parts that seem, to me, very schoolgirl amateurish in the telling, because I didn't know how to tell it and I'm still not sure how to do that. A bank robbery for example, and then, later in the story, describing my protagonist Jeannie's life of robbery, and giving it credibility. And how to put across her role as mayor. I'm not in the least bit politically minded so am really unsure what to do there. And there are fight scenes and how to choreograph those...
Oh, woe is me...!
Whenever I see a film or listen to music that resonates, I think about my story, grab my laptop and return to my editing. When I look at books in the library or on Amazon, I think: ‘You can do this. You can definitely do this.’
But such is the life of a writer. Blood, sweat, and most definitely in my case – tears. But I am, most definitely, getting there.