Elated joy or overwhelming despair? Which one will it be today, folks? There seems to be no middle ground between the two see-sawing extremes of emotion. I have the feeling I will only start to feel normal again when the book is out and I’ve moved on to other things.
Yes, I need to get out more, have a drink or two, learn to let go and have fun, read a book or watch a film without thinking about characterisation. But first, I need to finish. I’m right around the corner — so close, I can touch the finish line with my toe. To let up now would be a mistake.
I just finished a rewrite of one of my stories. I immersed myself in my main character for six weeks, writing and rewriting Anna’s story; trying to guess her motivations and capture her habits. I wasn’t simply trying to paint a picture of a woman who falls from a great height impaling herself on her own ambition. For as long as it took me to finish it, I WAS that woman.
And what a woman! She was feisty, slippery, difficult to get a grip on. First she was too elusive, then too passive, then too moody and at one point, I lost control and she went off and killed two characters when I wasn’t looking. In the end I pulled back, revived the dead and went in a new (hopefully better) direction.
I still haven’t managed to capture her, but where do you draw the line between the best you can do or breaking point? How to know whether you’ve done enough? Is it obsession or dedication? And is there a difference, at this point?