Writing a novel: Good days, bad days and trying your character on for size…


Come sign with me @ Walkers Books! 11am-3pm Oakham 5 Oct; Bourne 7 Oct; Stamford 8 Oct

So far today has been a very good day. The lovely, pingy paper is crisping itself up to become the creamy coloured pages of The Thinking Tank, I have finished a batch of freelance stuff and my alma mater, the University of Bristol has added me and my book to their lovely website pages, featuring alumni authors: http://www.bris.ac.uk/alumni/featured/books/ . Plus I have been invited to another bookshop for signings. One huge, fat yay!

My moanings and groanings last week are sufficient testimony to the bad days. And of course they have been a lot worse. But this time I am going to try an experiment and savour the moment. Hang on. Right. OK. That’s how I feel just now. The idea is that if I get in touch with the here and now and stop fretting about the what ifs and whens, the next time I am near exploding point – or bleating and whining point, which I feel sure is much worse – I can take a very deep breath and place myself back in the moment that was good. Like switching the TV channel or turning the page of a magazine. In other words, I can work at choosing how I feel and rejecting the negative by digging deep and dragging the positive from wherever it lurks.

This sounds very new agey I know. Probably is. But whenever I am writing – and I was working on my new novel last night – it’s exactly what I find myself doing to get under my character’s skin. It’s like stepping out of yourself so you can experience the character’s thoughts and feelings, allowing your character to own them. And if you can do that for your character, then why not try it for yourself on one of life’s crappy days?

Maybe, in the same way we can help shape our characters’ lives, we can work on shaping our own – refusing to be drowned in negativity. How many times have we only heard the bad comments when someone offers their thoughts on our work? I resolve here and now to focus purely on the good; digest the bad, take from it what is useful but stay in the moments that are positive. Until my husband watches three hours of football on the telly, that is!



About jaedewylde1

Author of The Thinking Tank (Summertime Publishing Sept 2011). Love writing and belly dancing, travel, theatre, good company, great wine and yummy food. Have experienced a great deal of life's crappy stuff...no doubt there is more to come, but in the meantime Carpe Diem! I did a BA Jt Hons Modern Languages degree at the University of Bristol, and have worked as a teacher, journalist and editor. The Thinking Tank is my first novel (please check it out at: www.jaedewylde.com). I have lived in France, Germany, Spain and the Middle East and now live in Lincolnshire with my lovely husband and two chihuahuas.

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