Thursday, September 15, 2005

Climbing Up The Walls

The four walls are creeping in on me just now. It’s been two weeks since I last left the house and… three, maybe four since I went out on non-medical related business. The time creeps up a bit. It is actually a good sign when I feel it at two weeks; means I’m not so bad. When I work it out and it’s been six or seven and I’ve only just noticed, I know I’ve been very ill. Well, both you and I know that I’m not very ill because I’m keeping this up pretty well just now. But it’s still been two weeks.

Of course it’s all relative. I know people who have been literally in the same room for a year. And others who get cabin fever after a weekend stuck indoors.

Now I’m getting excited/ panicked/ nauseous about my book again. During yet another troublesome night I began to go through (despite my conviction that I would leave it alone for a few days) and got through editing the first seven thousand words within a reasonable margin of satisfaction. As in, done and dusted.

I found my first major inconsistency. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my protagonist’s parents living in Cornwall. This is an important fact for all sorts of reasons. However, within the second chapter I found a few sentences indicating that they were in a different time zone. Bugger.

I suppose it’s not major, but I hadn’t expected to find such a bloomer so early on in the book. I know there will be others and probably much worse; I’m just praying there’s nothing nearly so bad as the ones that turned up in my first draft.

I’m also having difficulty sorting out chapters. I naturally write in sections or scenes; stories are like that. But these vary greatly in size, sometimes as little as a thousand words, sometimes as long as three or four thousand. If I called each of these a chapter, I would probably have a book of fifty odd chapters! I could divide these scenes into larger chapters but even with this, unless I ignore what’s going on in the story at the time, I struggle to make such chapters even vaguely consistent lengths.

On top of this is the issue of naming chapters. It is terribly old fashioned, but a big part of me desperately wants to entitle every chapter. One of the favourite books of my childhood was Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. I love that book for so many reasons, but one great thing about it and other books from that period is that the chapter titles are so very exciting such as I Run a Great Danger in the House of Shaws or The Flight In The Heather: The Heugh of Corrynakiegh.

I can’t be as close as I feel to finishing. I still have masses to do. And why does it make me feel like throwing up when I think about a time when it will all be done? I don’t understand that at all. I suppose it is a matter of what will I do then? And if it turns out, as it well might, that what I have written is rubbish or okay but nobody will publish it, then what the fuck am I going to do? What am I going to do with my life if the one avenue which might have made things okay is blocked off to me?

Hmm, sorry, I know. If this fails, I must try again or think of something else. There are a lot of opportunities in basket-weaving. I could work from home, weaving baskets and selling them on eBay. Baskets which attach to wheelchairs or mobility scooters perhaps. Or I could learn a bit more about computers and conduct major banking fraud from the comfort of my bed. Or perhaps I could invent something like, I don’t know, an ergonomic toothbrush.

For the time being, I certainly need to get out more.


Anonymous said...

Not wanting to seem like I'm competing or anything, but I've only left the house six times since 22nd June and only two of those were not hospital visits.

On that day (22nd June) I had an accident in my car and whilst it was being repaired my foot 'burst' into an ulcer - not being able to drive since and not wanting to risk injury to my foot by being manhandled into another car has seen me stay in. The outbound excursions I have taken have been via taxi so I could use my hoist to get into my manual wheelchair and then out the door.

I could easily get out socially in a taxi anytime I wanted, but I'm so dopey on these painkillers that I'm crap company and have a habit of dozing off at the drop of a hat!

Still, at least my carer's a great conversationalist and I've got my dog and my iMac ...


The Goldfish said...

Best of luck, Izzy - it sounds like a reasonable plan and I hope it works out. Best bet would probably be to burn it onto disc and take the disc to a printers - this will probably work out cheaper than printing that amount of work off on your own printer.

Timmargh - I am very impressed by your hold on your sanity having been in the house so long. I hope you at least have a bit of garden so you got to enjoy the summer and I hope it hasn't been too miserable.

Please let's hear some good news about the foot soon, eh?

Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is only too familiar with being incarcerated within her own home for long periods of time, and extends her understanding and best wishes to the Goldfish. She believes it is the Chinese who say, "This, too, will pass".

In case it does not go without saying, her ladyship would like to make it abundantly clear that she would be more than happy to proofread or critique any portion or portions of the Goldfish's draft should its author feel that such services could be in any way useful.

(The Goldfish is probably aware that Lady Bracknell has performed a similar service for their mutual friend, Rubicund Crip.)

Anonymous said...

"I hope you at least have a bit of garden so you got to enjoy the summer and I hope it hasn't been too miserable."

I do have some garden and a pooch to enjoy it with.

And no, it hasn't been too miserable - I'm quite cheery by nature and it takes a lot to get me down.


Katie said...

Hi goldfish! It seems that I have caught the writing bug off all my blogpals who are blessed with a pen and paper and that can write stuff. I've only come up with a sequel episode of Ab Fabulous but my episode is worthy of being screened methinks some time!

I came up with the characters and who was going to in it, which is all the normal characters plus two surprising ones! Ther's also a disability element in it which is very funny and surprising to say the least and also a twist to the normal episodes!!!!

All you blogpals are cool giving me the writing bug

Anonymous said...

In the episode of her own blog dated 2.9.05, a certain young lady a.k.a. as W1ldChild claims, in self-deprecatory fashion, to have the attention span of a goldfish. Granted this may not be the same as the attention span of a Goldfish, but I fear this distinction may not be readily appreciated by all. I do think that she should be asked to moderate her language. And I respectfully suggest that you are just the .... er... fish to do so.

Fondest Regards to you, the seals and the gulls (not to mention the other occasional avian visitor).

The Goldfish said...

Katie - your episode of Ab Fab sounds very interesting. Have you written it as a story or as a script?

W1ld Child - I shall maybe post "All I have learn about writing novels" at a date in the near future. Thanks for dropping by.