Week 6 Round-Up

Bugger. The Sunday that was supposed to see me crank out another 1000 words actualy ended up filled with distraction and prevarication. I’ve fallen short at about 1700 for Week 6.

I’ve got a grip on the story engine this week, and I can feel the whole thing revving up to take off in its own direction. I have a feeling its likely to tear apart most of the material I’ve written so for on its way out the door. I’ve had this experience quite a few times with short stories. You write through until you hit the ‘thing’ that makes the story work. In my last short the whole thing came together when I discovered a new character lurking in the cracks. At other times its been finding the voice of the narrator / protagonist that has pulled everything together.

Two things have emerged from the novel so far. I’ve been working with multiple viewpoint characters, but I think that is going to boil down to one character with occaissional interludes in other POV’s. That is going to make the story more compact and a more realistic proposition as a first novel. The protagonist has resolved himself as a deeply flawed character who ends up being heroic. Thats always been the intention but I’ve slipped into writing him as an all out hero in two scenes, neither of which will make it to a second draft. I’m also starting to realise that the setting isn’t quite chiming with the story – I need the world to realistically support a certain level of sophisticated political intrigue that I’m not sure the current setting is really comfortable with. Much writing lies ahead to realise any of this however.

I’m starting to come around to the point of  view that the most important quality for a writer  is bloody mindedness.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Director of creative writing at UoL, published with OUP and Cambridge. Currently travelling the world and writing a book.


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