Novel Journey 7: Christmas Break

Break being the operative word. I haven’t made much progress on Sylvia since handing in my creative assignment (which I still don’t have marks back for). I still don’t really have a plot and there are times when I question any overall aims for the novel. It’s all a bit up in the air. I did read On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner – one of my tutors lent it to me on the premise that it discussed what I’d tried to discuss with her in our meeting: plot. It didn’t and it didn’t differentiate between writing novels and short stories all that often. In fact, Gardner seemed to imply that short story writers and novelists are distinct beings. If that’s true then I’m doomed. My only comfort is the knowledge that I grew up writing novels. Or openings to novels; I only started writing short stories because I wanted to finish something. Anyway, it was useful in other ways. Mainly in reaffirming my hope that I am, in fact, a writer, and not just a delusional wannabe.

I have also been reading Games People Play by Eric Berne, which was recommended by my other tutor and was also less helpful that I’d expected. It’s interesting but the psychology jargon gets in the way.

Other than that, I’ve typed up a few scenes and written some new ones. I’ve also made a mind-map. You’ve got to love mind-maps.

Well, I’ll be back at St Andrews by next Wednesday. That means a busy weekend of packing and long journeys, though, so I doubt I’ll have time for much progress. (I always wondered about what would happen when this series had caught up with me. I guess now we know.)

Maybe I need some more goals. In fact…

Next week: goals.

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