More unfinished work added

Posted: November 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

“Wouldn’t it be Nice?” started out as part of a novel writing and character development workshop with the writer Laura Hird. I came up with this guy strolling down the street plugged into his iPod on his way to a gig. Once I got started the ideas kept coming …then 7,000 words later, I hit a major obstacle. My main character, Dan, was supposed to be a writer on a monthly music magazine and I quickly realised that I knew the square root of chuff all about what it’s like to do that. I was paralysed by the thought that anyone reading it would throw the book on the ground shaking their head at all the inaccuracies.

Every once in a while, I read it over and think I really should throw caution to the wind and finish the story and let the chips fall where they may …but for now, this is all there is.

  1. stevenjporter says:

    Haven’t read it yet but seems an odd way to look at it. If this was the case then the only person who could write such a story or pick up on your “inaccuracies” would be a music journalist. Is it the office environment you’re worried about? Because most of them don’t even work in one any more. For a story like this, it seems to me the main thing would be to have an interest or knowledge of music – which you do. Taking the other line, the only people who could write crime novels would be murderers or detectives. I’m assuming many are not yet they can put up a convincing case. Writing about what you know can be good advice, but there’s also such a thing as doing research and it’s often about finding the right balance between the two I feel. A wee bit of investigation is usually enough to convince most people. Unless they are the smart alecs just looking for inaccuracies, they’ll be more focussed on other things such as quality of writing, entertainment, gripping story, etc. I’m just surprised you got 7,000 words in before thinking this. That’s a lot of work! I’d be really surprised if this actually was the major obstacle, if indeed there is one…

    • Yeah, at this early stage of the story I had two other characters who were sort of a Nick Kent/Lester Bangs style mentor and a younger up and coming writer as well as an editor who is sort of a mix between Jan Wenner and Jeremey Clarkson! That kind of setup seemed to mandate an office based setting which wouldn’t really be how most magazines work these days – but if I made him a freelancer then I destroyed the need for these other characters I’d created and how they helped move the story along. I did consider making the guy an online blogger instead and have him work somewhere else and still have other people to bounce his musical theories off.

      The irony of all this is that heart of the story is about his relationship not his job! You’re right 7,000 words is a lot to have invested so far just to chuck it. I think I just need to suck it up and dive back into it again and damn the torpedoes! Once a proper first draft is done then I can worry about what works and what doesn’t.

      • stevenjporter says:

        Can’t comment on how well it works as haven’t got round to it yet. But I wonder if part of the frustration stems from intending it to be a novel at first (if the case?) and it’s come down short of that? Nothing to stop it from being a very good short story and a long one at that. Or maybe just a lull in proceedings? It happens. Either way, sounds interesting. I’ll try to get a look at it soon and let you know what I think.

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