Rewriting ‘Surrounded By Water’ is still fun. I am still being odd, immersed and losing track of time and wandering on the cusp where two worlds meet. (With occasional kitten breaks.) The novel is growing under my hands, in much the same way as the shawl I’m knitting does: every time I sit down to either of them, I know I won’t be finished today, but I know that what I do today will bring me a little closer. Four days in London last week probably did me the world of good, but they also showed me how much I wanted to be back here, working on this other world.
Yesterday was tricky, though. Yesterday’s chapter wouldn’t quite do what I wanted it to. It kept wandering off. It kept making the writing of it hard, in a bad way. There’s hard, in a good way (OK, that’s the second time in this post that I’ve braced myself for a visit from the innuendo police) which is when I write something that makes me sad or angry or upset because my characters are sad or angry or upset, so i know that the words are workinbg. Yesterday wasn’t like that. Yesterday was like coming up against a wall, again and again and again.
And then I figured it out. Although I’m rewriting the same story, I’m writing a different version of it. Where we start, where we end, is largely the same, but what happens between doesn’t always have to follow the exact trajectory of the first version. Yesterday, it all started to work a lot better when I let Blake turn up for a visit that wasn’t in the first version. This morning, things finally got moving when I understood what the knock-on effects of Blake’s visit were for the next bit.
And so, the 60,000 word mark approaches, the story furls and flails into life, and I do much better by understanding that this is not what I planned, but that’s OK. Which is an interesting thought after yesterday’s blog post: ‘not what I planned, but that’s OK’ would sum up ‘life with cancer assimilated’ pretty well.