Have I gone just a little mad?
This novel really is a Cuckoo in my life at the moment. It’s shoving everything else out. At lunchtime on Saturday, 4th April I wrote the opening paragraph of ‘The White Cuckoo’. At the end of the following Monday early morning writing session I’d written 14k words. Two weeks later I was on 37,209 words and this morning (22nd April) I shut down the document at 45,788 words. It feels as if the story is draining away a part of me that has always been there – I just didn’t know it.
I feel exactly like I do when I’m reading a novel I can’t put down – I just can’t stop writing. I’ve gone from one extreme to the other. I’m constantly turning over and examining the plot in my mind. There’s a strange kind of synchronicity going on – loads of odd coincidences that are eloquently presenting me with answers to questions I have about aspects of the plot.
I thought I’d share one of these moments with you all.
I’ve been asking around since I first had the idea for the plot to try and find someone over the age of 70 who was born prematurely. I wanted to get some first hand anecdotes about what it was like to look after a tiny baby with no access to modern technology or incubators, etc. Yesterday I gave someone a lift to a meeting. I nearly didn’t offer the lift, because it was during the day and I am really, really busy at work at the moment. On the return journey we hit traffic, delaying me even more. Then, this 78 year old lady, who doesn’t know about my writing, completely out of the blue told me that when she was born she weighed just over two pounds and was a ‘seven month baby’.
Voila! In one ten-minute car journey I’d all the information I needed. There was only one problem. You can’t write it all down when you’re driving. So as soon as I got home from work last night I made some notes.
The first draft of this novel will be written in just four weeks, and it is the most magical writing time of my life. Will it get published? Who knows, but it will certainly land on my agent’s doormat with more unique selling points than she can shake her hat at!