I don’t know what got into me, but I started writing a novel with the pure intention of emulating Maeve Binchy and her ability to hone in on human emotions while telling what appeared to be a simple story set in Ireland. R.I.P. Maeve, I’m hope you’re tuning in.
Little did I know how difficult it would be to write such a book. I started my novel Where She Belongs in 2010. It was originally called Sally’s New Life but I thought that title was a bit too twee. I can barely believe I’m still trying to perfect it and am beginning to embrace the idea of throwing in the rag, if that’s the right expression. Whatever made me think I could write?
And so now, as I’m doing my final edit (crossing fingers and toes), I’m appealing to the spirit of Maeve Binchy to inspire me and show me how she wove her magic so effortlessly.
The worst thing is, and I hope Maeve will forgive me, that although I read a few of her books, I was not one of her die-hard fans, and yet I certainly admire her ability to tug at the heartstrings. Forgive me if I’m stringing words together that should be separate. My spellcheck is not protesting, but then again I know one cannot always depend on it. Since I’ve lived in Germany for so long, I sometimes get confused. They love to string words together, and I must admit it has a certain appeal. Besides, language is constantly evolving, isn’t’ it?
So, yes. Finding our writing voice is all important. We can become so inundated with writing advice that we lose the ability to cut through the maze of meandering pathways and forget where our own path was.
I find writing fiction to be much harder than writing a blog. Showing and not telling and writing witty dialogue, that doesn’t sound stilted, are just some of the difficulties I encounter. What I don’t find difficult is creating scenes in my mind and transferring them onto the screen. In fact, the scenes are so realistic in my mind that part of me actually is in that fictional place I’ve created in the West of Ireland. I’m wondering what my characters are up to as I’ve neglected them for too long.
Back to channelling Maeve Binchy. Some of us take longer than others to find our niche. I began writing Where She Belongs after abandoning a couple of others half-way through when the going got tough and I got stuck in a quagmire. In order to free my mind, I began telling another story and thought it would be easier to write. Well, it wasn’t as easy as I imagined, but I finished it and am proud of that. I will definitely return to Future Visions when I figure out how to continue with it.
Maybe Maeve will help me with the final edits!