I’ve neglected my blog this month, I’m afraid.
It would be great to report it’s because I have done a first rewrite or something. I have done a bit, but, well, that’s all. I’m only realising just how much I have to do. And it’s quite daunting. On top of that, my own work was been quite busy and I was struck down with man flu for a few days. Boo hoo!
Back to the novel. Well, I’ve read through what is loosely the first half of it. This half is unstructured unfortunately. I wrote it in three parts basically, one for each character.
I’ve done some basic changes, like changing the present tense to past and replacing double quotes with single quotes and general tidying up. Exciting, I know! I’m happy with the quality of some of the chapters, while others are okay to poor. A large number will probably just go.
There are some fundamental things I need to address. Too many ‘he said this, he did that, he saw this’. There’s also a lot of passive voice and probably too much unbroken dialogue.
Many of the chapters with the main character in the first half do not drive the plot. They mostly describe his situation, his relationships, with snippets on his troubled and violent past. I’m a bit unsure if that’s okay. The chapters on the other two main characters – a boy involved in a criminal gang and an investigating garda – are more plot driven, apart from ones involving the boy and the main character, which again is more about the relationship and a bit about the plot.
It’s very frustrating not having time to work on the novel, but I got a chance this morning to speed read over the main character’s chapters and, on the whole, I feel a bit better.
I think spending time describing his situation works as it is key to building up the pressures in his life and tension in the novel. But I also understand the need to keep the book driving forward in terms of the plot. But can a balance not be struck between plot and character? Any thoughts?