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The Novel that Never Was

Six months’ of sporadic writing and my fifth novel is slowly going nowhere.

Like my other novels, this one started as a clear image of the protagonist and a vague idea of what was going to happen to him.

Yes, him. I’ve broken with my string of female protagonists and decided to try rooting, if not playing, for the other team.

All the building blocks that formed a solid foundation for my earlier works are there. My imaginary hero has no idea what’s happening to him. Which, as any readers of my previous blog posts will know, has always been the case. It’s the way I write.

Except in this case the protagonist hasn’t cooperated by generating the narrative for himself.

It must be writer’s block. I say ‘must’ as I’m not sure. It’s a first.

I have a few theories to explain the lack of inspiration. The one I favour most is that I’ve stepped, unwarily, into the realm of science-fiction. A realm in which extraordinary things happen and demand extraordinary explanations. In addition to a convincing narrative I have to create an equally convincing background, some of which requires specialist knowledge of several scientific fields.

As my current protagonist has moved from day to day and scene to scene, I’ve been plagued with uncertainty about not realism but consistency.

An author can write a fictional location into her story but, to be convincing, that location has to follow certain common-sense rules, otherwise the story lurches into the realm of fantasy.

I’ve made a pact with myself. Finish the first chapter, introduce the main supporting character, and then stop and decide whether to continue or abandon ship.

Apologies to my loyal readers, but please bear with me and watch this space.

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