The hardest part about writing is…
The never-ending frustration that there’s never enough time to write.
There, I’ve said it. Now I’ll have to let you know what I mean.
For example, my first novella, In Harm’s Way, started as a scene about Harm, the legendary warrior who performed amazing deeds, but who could never remember them; nor hope to repeat them when he could remember. Harm’s story is about heroism and truth. Okay: theme tick.
From there, I build more scenes, develop the characters, and set out the whole structure of the story, before writing the events in detail. Phew! Does that sound like a lot a lot of work to you?
And here’s my catch—due to my secret-identity, the main time I have to write is when I commute. Thank God for smart phones! For years, I’ve been writing stories on the train, one paragraph at a time. I tried writing at night, but that just left me spinning and sent my well-being down the toilet. Weekends, you say? I’ll get to that.
After weeks (or even months) of train-rides, I will have finally written each scene, and the story as a whole appears before my eyes. A few weeks later the scenes even hang together and the what of the story is ready. But a what does not a story make. Eh?
You see, unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Writing coherent words is hard work. Writing words that flow and zing is even harder. Welcome to the how of editing! Good bye weekends.
I’ve been writing Jeremy’s story for a while. The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson is the first novella, but a book in its own right. Jeremy’s story began life from momentary lapses in memory—as in ‘did I really do that?’ In Jeremy’s specific case, his confusion when game-hunters from the future blow up his apartment—and the evidence disappears the next day. To me, Jeremy’s struggle to save the world, and avoid the assassins who crave Armageddon, represents the unlikely hero in all of us. Jeremy’s an accountant on stress-leave: if he can make a stand, we all can!
In writing Jeremy’s story, I’ve learnt that creating individual stand-alone novellas is more difficult than to tell the same stories as one novel. But if I waited until I completed a whole novel, I’d be writing for ages. This way, though harder to write, lets my stories out to the world earlier.
But it still takes time: the how can take almost as long as writing the story in the first place. Good thing it’s so worthwhile. And the outcome after months of train-rides and hair-tearing weekends? The extracts and the previews on Amazon and Goodreads will give you an idea, but I’m quite chuffed.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, the sequel to Jeremy’s story is demanding more hair …