The novel I'm working on now will -- hopefully -- be my tenth. (Double figures! Woo-hoo!) You would think I would have figured out by now what I'm doing.
But as I scratch my painful way to the 30,000 word mark, I've realised what this first draft actually is, and the function that it serves in my working process. What I'm writing now is, kind of, the film of the book. That is, I need to write to write down everything that happens. Just that, no more and no less. It's not polished, it's not pretty, it's not poetic. But it's as if I need to live through the whole story with my characters before I can go back and give myself the luxury of shaping and pruning, embroidering and spanglifying.
You know how sculptors say that they liberate the sculpture from the block of marble? Well, I think what I'm doing is making my block of marble. Only when I have that massive, rough, untidy stone in place, can I concentrate on chipping away at it until it becomes something that resembles a novel.
Well, it makes sense to me. I think.