22 February 2008

Group novel

On Wednesday we had another plotting session for our group novel. Gee, it's fun. What if this happened? What if that? And it's amazing to sit down and read what we've written so far. The voices are all so different -- this project has certainly energised the group.

Initially, I found it easy going -- the voice was flowing, and I was in character -- perhaps not a good thing since my character's been acting like a dickhead. And a sleaze. But a loveable one. (At least I think so. My co-writers may not find him quite so adorable.)

It is interesting at times to see how protective some of us get with our characters. Someone says something like: "Oh, your character wouldn't do that. They're not that nice." And people get their backs up. We tend to forget that we are not our characters. I suppose we each love our own, and perhaps it's hard to hear because ironically our characters are us. Even when they're not. They're still drawn from the pool of all that we are.

Anyway, then I got reimmersed in my main novel, and when I tried to work on the group novel I struggled. It didn't matter much as I was ahead of some of the others anyway. After I finished my draft (of my main novel) and commenced a final editing pass, I found that with distance I was able to slip back into this one. I'm not someone who can work on more than one major project at once. I'm too obsessive a writer -- and, do you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I like obsession. I truly do. Total immersion in a project is one of the great joys of writing, and one of the reasons the novel is my favourite form of fiction. Sorry, Haines, you're not going to turn me into a dedicated short story writer any time soon!

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