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The Next Novel

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

So, whilst Hedge Witch plods its lonely way around agents, begging to be taken in, I've started work on the next one. This is not part two of the Anead Trilogy - that's down the line, once Hedge Witch is published. Instead, as previously blogged, I'm looking at writing a different sort of book.

I had planned to get cracking on Godstar, an SF novel, but another idea keeps tapping me on the shoulder and looking at me suggestively. And I've been working on that instead. I'm not sure what sort of novel you would call it. It is set in an imaginary world so I suppose to that extent it might be considered fantasy. But there is no magic involved in it; the action is all firmly in a realist/literary mode. I suppose it might be in the same sort of category as Gormenghast. Whatever category that is. It's just a shame, of course, that we even have to categorize. It's a story, is what it is.

I'm having two main problems at the moment. The first is in coming up with a name. I find I need a name to act as a starting point. But I haven't come up with anything definitive yet. So far I'm calling it Engn, but that isn't quite right.

The second problem is to do with self-belief. It is easy - all too easy - to convince myself that what I'm writing is unreadable nonsense; a ridiculous, unworkable idea. I find it very easy to hamstring myself like this. With Hedge Witch I deliberately set out not to write the greatest novel every created. I set out to have fun and tell a story I wanted to tell. Which doesn't mean that I didn't then try to make it the greatest novel ever created. I just didn't burden myself with the responsibility. This, I think, is a significant part of the creative process - for me at least. A novel doesn't have to win the nobel prize for literature and top the best-sellers chart. It just simply has to be written, put on the page, polished as much as possible and then what happens, happens.

So, I'm ignoring the demons of self-doubt and getting on with it ...


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