September Blog: A Little Less Murder

The writing process is so unpredictable. I had anticipated that the third draft of Attrition was going to be a tidying-up exercise but I seem to have landed myself right into a complete re-write. This was most definitely not on the cards. I’m focussing on the positive outcome of this; my novel is going to end up in a better state than it’s currently in. There’s just a lot of work involved. Not only is it a lot of work but this current draft is also seeing more major and unexpected changes. Some of these changes are obvious (one murder is now an accidental death) but some are more covert and centre on my protagonist’s motivation and psyche.

The story itself is starting much later. In fact it keeps starting later and later into the action the more I revise it and I need to be careful that while I’m trying to improve the story I don’t cut essential parts out altogether. The relationship between Kitty and Jonathan (her employer) has also altered somewhat. I’m still seeking clarity myself as to the exact nature of it but I know that I wasn’t happy with it as it was. I would like to retain a bit of mystery around the nature of their relationship but I don’t want it to be too vague.

There has been a constant move away from the melodrama of the first draft (ironically inspired by real events) to a more internal drama and focus on the why rather than the how. I am pleased with this, despite the work an effort involved. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of drama occurring, it’s just a bit less murderous than it was.

Overall September has been a busy month. Dublin Fringe Festival is over and I was lucky enough to see some excellent shows, including Wishful Thinking and Starlet. Now Dublin Theatre Festival is upon us and although I’m attending fewer shows than usual I am looking forward to it. Besides Attrition I’ve been completing a smaller project and doing some of the business work of writing, such as applications and submissions. All of that stuff takes time, often far more than such tasks would initially seem to need. It all has to be done though and hopefully they will prove to be fruitful.

I’m still in the midst of selling my home and buying a new one. This process is dragging on longer than I had hoped but it should all be completed by the end of November and I’ll be in my new place for Christmas (yes, I did mention Christmas!). Needless to say it’s a stressful time and I’ve still some doubts about the whole thing but I am looking forward to being in the new house and moving to my new neighbourhood.

This time next month I’ll be settling into my residency at La Napoule Art Foundation. I’m really looking forward to it and Attrition has certainly given me plenty to work on while there. The physical change in location and setting makes such a difference to the writing process… one that I really need right now. It really couldn’t be coming a better time. My next mini-blog will be from the South of France. À la prochaine!

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