While driving to York the other day to meet a friend for lunch in our favourite restaurant, I had a light bulb moment. But I’m not sure I’m happy about it.
You see, what came to me in this blinding flash was the realisation that the My Weekly Pocket Novel I have just finished is actually TWO pocket novels.
I was aiming for a psychological thriller for one of MW’s new Easy Read genres. That bit seemed OK. All the ingredients were there – murder, suspicion, arson, forbidden love and jealousy.
It was only when I’d completed the second draft that I realised all this was running alongside an engaging (well I thought so!) love story with its own twists and turns.
I’d been so determined to write my first exciting thriller that I over-stirred the pot and threw everything in there. Now I might be wrong and this is a work of page-turning brilliance, but …
If I send it off to Maggie Seed like this I know it will come winging back with the comment ‘too much plot.’ It would be wreathed in other complimentary and encouraging comments, because Maggie is lovely like that, but it would still be a no sale.
I’m a writer afflicted by self-doubt. Even when I feel elated after a final draft, and confident that I’ve produced a competent, pleasing piece of work, as soon as I press that send button all the old insecurities creep back.
I think of all the words I could have changed, phrases that could have been turned around, plot threads I could have developed better. It’s not a great feeling. I take comfort from the belief that most writers have been there.
But back to this twin plot business. The complications might work better in a longer novel, but not within the obligatory 50K words of the pockets. So it’s with heavy heart that I’m thinking I have to go back to the beginning.
I know there’s a lot of work ahead of me, but maybe…just maybe…I might actually end up with TWO pocket novels.
Happy writing everybody.