Of course I am joking about the dark side – although I have sometimes thought of it in those terms, now that I compare the sky above me here in Edinburgh this morning to the bright blue of the Welsh coastal skyline, illuminated by dazzling sunshine this past week, I think maybe I have this the wrong way round. Certainly if in a bout of electoral insanity Scotland gets independence in my lifetime, which now seems like a distinct possibility, I might even consider relocating to Llandudno (I can hardly believe I’m saying that).
I suppose having been away from my usual surroundings could eventually result in writing inspiration, but it has proved to be almost impossible to write while not at my table in the conservatory at home. Not only did I not take my netbook with me but, more worryingly, I couldn’t get my mind in gear. As far as my work in progress is concerned, all I have to show for the past few days is a set of scrappy notes, some of which will when implemented actually result in a reduction in word count, although I hope they will make the story move forward in a more sensible way as well. I plan to put in more of an effort during April and have signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo to spur myself on. I’m not (yet) all that worried that this novel isn’t writing itself as some of the others in the series have. I’ve paused in places to sort out plot glitches as I go along this time, and this may mean – although that’s of course debatable – that I don’t have to carry out major surgery after the first draft is complete. By major surgery I mean moving chapters around, changing the point of view character in a chapter or having to add the chapter where everything is explained as an afterthought instead of incoporating it seamlessly into the story. None of these would be unprecedented!
Having a bit more time to write these days is proving to be a slightly mixed blessing. My mind has time to wander off randomly, so that before going away I found myself embarking on a cover re-design I hadn’t consciously planned to do just yet, and I’ve started research for a novel I might decide to write later in the year with a First World War setting. I suppose these things may turn out to be just as worthwhile as actually writing a first draft, but I’ve been quite disconcerted by my loss of focus.