Pandora’s Box of Imagination: Confessions of a Budding Novelist

Image: Leaf on Stair

So over the weekend my close writing confidant read the chapters I had already completed on the novel, and the verdict was close to my own, some settings and characters have to be saved for other books. I need to streamline. Imagine doing that with close personal friends who you know the whole history of. I can’t keep you my friend, not now anyway, for you are not forwarding my personal progress. I have to put you to one side and press onwards.  Bye, bye dear ‘wall paper. ‘  Yet as my friend says the wall paper can reappear, the characters can come back in new novels.  They can take centre stage where now they might be background.  I have to liberate them.  Goodness one might even say I have to place them into stasis for a while.  They are all having a collective coma, saying, ‘write me, write me…soon please finish that first novel so I can come alive.’

How special is it to have someone that has the patience to see the potential in something you are creating and not crush it, but say ‘keep going.’   Furthermore, to give you just the right sort of critical comment to make you construct a stronger text.  Honesty is important in the process as I would much rather that my reader from nanowrimo told me the truth – and didn’t just give me a comment that evaded the truth, better to have it now than from a publisher saying it needed so much more work, or they didn’t finish reading it.

So this is my week for plots and outlines, and my reader has to wait. The book will be transformed, but the quest will be the same. Some characters are for the future and so I bid farewell to them for a while. They will lie dormant as if in a Pandora’s box of creative writing.  I have to be careful not to open that box because the novel cannot have too many characters.  My readers simply will not cope.  I am carefully placing some characters and settings into that Pandora’s box of my own imagination and putting a big rock – probably one from my own childhood memories, on top of that box.  There, now I can’t open it for a while, and they can’t jump out.   It’s a new day and I can begin to write again!

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved, words and image.