Saturday 21 September 2013

NaNoNovel Read-Through, Re-Cap, and Worry-Over

I promised you this a long time ago, and so here it finally is! You can also have a virtual bag of virtual popcorn if you can find one.

You may remember that I spent most of July writing, writing, writing. To you weirdos, partially, but mainly I was writing a novel based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. It still doesn't have its own title, but I've read it all the way through, and I thought I'd tell you what I thought of it.
 Short answer is that it's absolutely rubbish. Thankfully, the fact that it's absolutely rubbish will make editing it a good lot easier, which is always good. But first, I need to do lots and lots of research. Which is where the 'worry-over' part of this post's title comes from.
 You see, I have a bad habit of shoving things into my writing (which is a problem of its own that I don't have the energy to go into or even think about with this novel). When I'm writing speculative fiction, I tend to cram as many supernatural creatures into a world as is humanly possible. And in contemp., it seems, I shove themes and problems into novels like I've got four folders and a laptop to fit into a handbag. This particular novel has everything from terminal illness to mental illness, from suicide to cowardice to cold-blooded murder.
They say 'write what you know' but I only have experience in one of those things  (and it's murder, of course). The rest of them are all things that you need a careful, well-informed hand to handle, and while I try to be careful, I'm not very well-informed.
 What should you do when you're uninformed? You should get yourself informed! But with topics like suicide... it's a bit more difficult. Especially when you're socially awkward (but that's another issue I don't have the energy to go into). It's difficult to find people who can inform you, it's hard to talk to them sensitively -- possibly as difficult as writing about it is -- and if something they said would make a huge difference to the novel, what would I do? Would I ignore them so that I could keep it on track and not have to re-write the whole thing, or would I leave it and offend them and possibly others?
 A friend of mine (hi, by the way, if you're reading -- harass me at some point; we haven't talked in yonks) pointed out that you can't keep everyone happy. But as true as that is, I'd like to avoid it as much as possible. I want what I write to be as true to life and human nature as possible. I want what I write to help people, if it can. I want people to like reading my writing, not hate it. Which is why reading through this novel was so difficult to do -- I could see the image it painted of the mentally ill and of people in general and it was so negative, so awful... but I've not got a clue how to fix it.

Also, I haven't got a satisfactory ending yet. But at the moment, that's almost the least of my problems.

Writer-who-actually-seems-kind-of-depressed-but-promises-she-isn't out!

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