Saturday, 28 November 2009

Return to Cornwall

Some years ago, I started a mystery novel set against an almost historical Victorian background. I did a whole outline for it, I wrote a little bit over one hundred pages – and stopped. Now I will return to the “Cornwall Vampire Case,” as the German title would translate, and try to finish it (and polish it and send it out to publishers).

The real strange thing about me and outlines is this: the more of a story I’ve lined out (and the more detailed the outline is), the less I want to write it. I start to feel like I’m not having an adventure (as writing is to me, normally), but like I’m working hard and accomplish nothing (as the story is already pinned down, more or less). I know if I keep to the outline (which I went through on Thursday evening again), I might be able to finish the whole thing in a month or so (by estimating into how many pages the outline has turned this far, I’d say I’ve got another two hundred pages to go until the story is finished and the ‘vampire’ is caught). I even still like the characters – and I can’t say that for everyone I ever invented.

The story currently is at a break – I have to introduce the real bad guys and, for the first time in the novel, change the point of view for a short while. This is where I left it off about three years or so ago. And now I have to pick up the line from there, continue the story and bring it to an end. It would be even an understatement to say that I’m scared by the mere idea of this. But, on the other hand, having an adventure is all about scary things…

I will have to re-read the story several times, anyway, to get back into the flow. Maybe I’ll even make some slight changes on the pages I’ve already written. We shall see. I have to finish the story some day, otherwise why did I take all the pains in creating the outline and the characters?

They say that even a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. So I will have to think of those two hundred pages as two hundred little steps and just walk along…

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