Writing: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Yes, another post about how difficult Circle was to write and why I dislike it.

Right, well, here’s the thing. It’s actually not that bad. I re-read it just before I finished it, to give myself a little bit of a helping hand for the end. I started right at the beginning and read. Properly. Not skimming. I read it.

The characters are solid. The narrator is consistent. I kind of like the way the plot hangs together. Some of the turns of phrase are lovely. And in the midst of reading it I thought, ‘y’know, this isn’t actually that bad.’ Something of a revelation, I guess. I suppose when you’ve worked on something for as long as I’ve worked in Circle for, you do get sick of it. I know I was. I was fed up of how everything felt like it was dragging. For me. In the story, it’s quite pacey. And I’d forgotten that.

It had been nearly 6 months since I wrote anything substantial on Circle when I finished it. I was of the mindset that as long as I get the ending down, then at least it’s finished. Nothing fancy. Nothing decorative. Write the ending and get out.

I sat down, for a good five hours, and did it.

And when I finished it, I didn’t get that same feeling that I got when I finished Son of Songs. S.O.S. was like a rollercoaster. You wait in the line, you get on, you get through, and you come off the end with some sort of emotional attachment to everything you felt and everyone on that ride with you and everything you knew about it and all of the stories still left to tell. Circle was like driving to Russia from France. You’re stuck in the car, surrounded by people you thought you liked until you’ve been there with them for longer than you dared to count, and you’ve drunk all the water and eaten all the crisps and in the end the only feeling you have is sheer relief that you’re never going to have to do that again.

I think what I’m trying to say is that one of the most important qualities you can have as a writer is to keep going through it. I never leave anything unfinished. Even if it was going to kill me, I was going to finish Circle. You have to get through it. It’s the only way.

I will be going back to it, when I can bear it. There are a lot of places where things no longer make full sense and I need to sort the continuity. But for now, I’m going to start work on my magic flowers story which, for now, I’m going to call Ash-Brides.


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