Well, it’s official. I am halfway through, “The Girl in the Yellow Vest” and very excited to be. Just sent off the first half to my publisher yesterday. There’s a lot of comedy in this one and I’m just loving writing it. Getting to the middle was definitely a milestone for me and I’m breathing a lot easier now that I’m over the hump. And what a hump it was!
The first half is always the hardest. It was the same with Boots and Hard Hat. As I don’t plot my books, it’s really hard to know if the story is going to be any good until I get to fifty per cent. Actually, I usually have a crisis around the 40 000 word mark because I know it has to be better!
In my last book, I had a lot of problems with Gavin. This time, it was my heroine Charlotte, who was giving me grief. I wanted her to be strong, gutsy and a fighter but I’d given her such a crippling internal conflict that I couldn’t make her stand up for herself without all her baggage standing in the way. So just before I hit halfway I had to go back and change it all. Not completely but a good solid tweak. The problem with the way I write is that I don’t know what road to take until I’ve taken the wrong one first which is a rather frustrating methodology. With the first couple of books I wasn’t sure whether I had a process, now I’m pretty sure I do.
This is my process.
Step 1: Do a crap version
Step 2: Panic
Step 3: Eat chocolate
Step 4: Eat more chocolate
Step 5: Realize a re-write is needed
Step 6: Procrastinate and try to talk self out of re-write as it’s a lot of work and do you really, really, want to be doing that when the kids are on school holidays, your husband is sick as a dog and the cleaner has taken a month off to go visit her mum in Thailand. Hello!
Step 8: Do the re-write
Step 9: Marvel at shiny new MS and wonder why I didn’t do it this way in the first place.
So I guess next year, I’ll just pre-buy the chocolate.
Onto the next half!