Writing the first draft of a novel is a funny old business. It feels to me like I’m doing the trickiest jigsaw puzzle in the world. Except actually, that isn’t really a very good analogy because I’ve never understood the point of jigsaw puzzles. When you get to the end, you never have anything that you’re ever going to keep so you just smash it all up again and bung all the pieces straight back in the box. Writing a novel is much more rewarding than that because a novel has the potential to hang around forever. Even if it’s just on my bookshelf.
But it does feel like I’m fitting together fifty or sixty thousand different pieces. And whilst some parts of it are all coming together nicely, other bits are still totally blank. Or I’m asking myself questions like: Where can I slot this little chestnut into? Or: Where is that vital missing piece which I just can’t find?
And then, sometimes, I have that experience where I’m well into my Work In Progress and I have a sudden moment of clarity. That proper cartoon light bulb moment. A massive penny drops inside my head. Or perhaps it’s more like a massive penny drops on my head and makes me see something obvious that I somehow missed. Something which ties all the ideas in my head together in a very satisfying way. Anyway, I had one of those moments the other day. It meant that I had to go back to the start and make quite a few changes. But, you know what? I really didn’t care. Because it felt flipping lush J
By the way, Senior Editor Truffleoilym at Macmillan’s Children’s Books asked me via Twitter to draw what this penny dropping moment looks like. So in my very own personal dodgy drawing style, I have done. It is called Self-Portrait with Dropping Penny.
Anyway, I’m off to bed now folks. Night night x