Monday, 13 December 2010

Ordinary Mania

Today was one of those eureka days, where things finally clicked in my brain. I’ve been working on my novel Arlene’s Atoms for nigh on two years now and have made the decision to scrap the protagonist. I made this decision by having a nervous breakdown then talking the story through with Mrs Q who urged me on with the manuscript.

The story wasn’t working in the first person perspective of a childish woman in her twenties, so the narrative will be in the third person from the perspective of a Swedish academic. I spent time working on the language of Arlene (ex-protag) and decided her voice wasn’t interesting enough to drive this novel. This is such a relief to me, as I was an inch away from giving up the story completely, which would’ve been a copout after so much work.

Unfortunately, I submitted a synopsis of my novel as an assessment which now contradicts the new synopsis. Oh dear. Still, making my academic the protagonist will allow me to be more original with the structure and inventiveness of this draft. Frankly, I need something that will get me excited about the story again. I was close to madness.

Sometimes it’s helpful to be driven to lunacy to force you into making big decisions. Not pleasant, certainly, but there is always the day after to take a bath and stitch up the scars.

Regional news: the snow has melted into piles of mucky ice. It’s like Brooklyn during the garbage strike. (Or Harlem as is). Truly revolting and another good reason to remain indoors reading and having nervous breakdowns. I've read some stonking books this month, among them Heartsnatcher by Boris Vian and Take Five by D. Keith Mano. Round-up in seventeen days!


  1. I very much hope your nervous breakdown is as productive as you envision it will be. And an academic narrator does indeed free you--you aren't required to make any sense at ALL then!

  2. Yes. Sense is overrated. Leacock, Lear and Carroll are always there for us.