I have become a writing bore. Of course, I was boring before writing, I’ve just changed the subject. All I can talk about is writing, and the novel, oh and name-dropping Michael Sheen at the snarky woman who said she was glad they had special writing awards for ‘people like me.’
The lovely people in my Welsh class have stopped making eye contact with me. This is particularly impressive, the eye contact thing, considering we’re on Zoom. I try really hard to sit on my hands, to not open my mouth but as soon as I do words come out and not the right ones.
I called one of them a bell-end.
I said it in Welsh.
And he’s not even a bell end. I was just showing off. Trying not to talk about the novel.
So here I am, telling you instead.
I spent much of Sunday squealing. I should probably apologise to my neighbour, who complained this week that she’d not yet made an appearance in the blog – Hello Kelly.
There was a lot of squealing, and some crying and then more squealing. Come to think of it, you’d think given that amount of squealing, my neighbour might have popped round to check I was alright, that I hadn’t had a stroke or something. In her defence, I do think she might have to put up with more squealing than is appropriate, neighbour-wise. But still.
What was all the squealing about, I hear you ask hoping I might get to the point? On Sunday I finished the giant mahoosive, all-encompassing edit of The Novel.
Oh, sorry to disappoint you that it wasn’t something fabulous, I did warn you about the boring thing.
See, writing a novel isn’t just writing a story. In truth that’s the fun part when you are discovering new worlds and new ideas. When your characters wake you up at 4 am to ask why you’re not writing about them? And have you considered setting the whole story in a hot air balloon? With monkeys? From Space?
After that, it’s all editing; discovering you don’t know how to use comma’s and may have accidentally written parts of it in Esperanto. It all needs fixing. Hence the endless editing. It is brutal to open a document with 32,000 spelling mistakes, and that before we include translating Space Monkeys.
So that’s what I was celebrating. The completion of the third edit. I’m not saying it’s free of spelling mistakes, or that I’ve mastered the use, of, the, comma, but it is now an actual story. I have written an actual novel and I think it might be a good one.
But there’s the rub. All those books that you discarded halfway through or didn’t start because they sounded dull or dreary (or lacked Space Monkeys – sorry I don’t seem to be able to stop.) See, someone thought they were really good too.
Writing a novel is like falling in love. It is all-consuming, it’s all you think about, all you talk about. And when you’re not doing it, it’s all you dream about. But what if, like so many love affairs, when those rose-tinted glasses come off you are left, not with a prince/princess, but with an oaf who picks their toenails with their teeth and leaves dirty pants on the bathroom floor? What if my novel is a dirty two-timing cheat, running away with a writer down the road? What if my novel turns out to be an actual utter bell- end?
I suppose we will have to wait and see. I’ve sent the novel off out into the ether or is that the editor? I’m awaiting a response back. One knock for yes, two knocks for no. I’m squealing quietly, trying not to bore my friends or the postman or annoy my lovely neighbour, Kelly.
Did I mention I was writing a novel?
There might be Space Monkeys!
And the word for bell-end in Welsh?
Er kok oyn!