August 10th 2017
Today I continued editing my novel. There was this one section that I had to get Alice’s advice on. In the novel there’s this long, off topic description about a scratch card. It’s not massively off topic but it’s also not a complete tonal fit, so I asked Alice whether she thought I should get rid of the section or not.
“No,” she said. “It’s not off topic because you’ve got one in the book.”
When she says “you” she means Alex, the main character of my novel. Alice is under the impression that I’ve just written the main character as if he is a projection of myself. Whenever she talks about the book it’s always “you” (Alex/Me) and “me” (Jenny/Her). When she read it she said “so this is basically just about you and me, is it?
I can’t say that that was intentional. But I also can’t say that it’s not true. It’s probably a little bit true. Or maybe a big bit true. The plot is completely fictional, but I guess the characters ended up seeming to be representations of us. Again, completely unintentionally…
There are a couple of character traits that I may have borrowed from her. Actually, I have a list on my phone of all of the quirky things that Alice does that she thinks no one picks up on. Some of those might have ended up in the novel.
I guess I accept that the protagonist has my voice. He’s sarcastic and dry and dark at times, and basically just a projection of my sub-conscience. Write about what you know, I guess.
Editing went better today than I thought it would. My motivational method is a quite successful, and it stems from my numeric brain. I start off with ‘just get to the end of the chapter’, but if the end of the chapter is, say, page 59 then I can’t leave that on an unrounded page number. So I move on to page 60, but then that leaves me in the middle of the chapter, so I have to finish the chapter, which more than likely puts me on an odd page number again, so I have to finish– etc.
And then, there’s the fact that the novel is broken up into months of the year, so if I do find a chapter that ends on a round number, but it ends halfway through the month then I may as well carry on until the end of the month.
This way, I keep tricking myself into carrying on working and I’ve accidentally edited another 10,000 words without realising it.
Until tomorrow, it’s an effective method.