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I’ve been busy. I don’t have much to show for it, beyond the normal minimum of the day-to-day mundanities that make life tick along nicely and keep everyone happily fed and clean and comfortable. I have been reading – and arguing with, sometimes aloud – Christopher Booker’s The Seven Basic Plots. This is a fascinating, and sometimes frustrating, but nevertheless invaluable (to my mind) read, with the concommitant effect of making me question whether I really do know what it is that I am doing with the WIP. But then, Christopher Booker has made so many silly mistakes – even getting a major plot point in Star Wars wrong; unforgivable! – that I doubt his reason too. (Read a review here ).  On balance, despite the niggles, I think it will be a greater help in the long run, when the time to comes to completely overhaul my novel and pull it to bits and restructure it. As I move closer and closer to the end I find that I am already trying to work out how the story will have to be rearranged. And the closer I get to the end of the first draft, the more I am trying not to think about the likelihood that it will all be a load of unmitigated rubbish. The odds are not in my favour I think, as far as first novels go. Even so, it has to be done; one word at a time, one tale at a time.

And yet…  there is something strangely exciting in Booker’s ideas that is infusing me with more than the will to write, with the need to write. And so I have given myself a deadline; I have until Easter to get this thing, this baggy bizarre monster of a first draft, done. Now if I can just work out how it’s all supposed to end…

When I start the next novel, later this year, I will be doing things very differently.