When I woke up during last night, from the window I could see the silhouette of the oak at the bottom of our neighbour’s garden. It loomed as a maze of branches, grey shadows between them.
That image describes where I am this morning with my writing.
Generally I’m organised and disciplined with a ‘to do’ list which I try to follow. My writing, however, ┬áis chaotic. In my second novel, I began with an idea- an empty mid-life marriage- and I developed two people inhabiting that relationship. Eventually an ending evolved.
For several days I have been trying to order the scenes into a coherent narrative. Relationships are not neat, not linear, not straightforward and I wanted the novel to mirror that as well as being a page-turner.
I am reading Tessa Hadley’s The Past with its strands of relationships within a family. She manages to be very readable and at the same time demonstrate the complexity of relationships- interweaving past, present and hopes for the future. Tessa’s skill seemed to emphasise my current inadequacy.
So, I pick up the separate scenes I have printed out and re-shuffle them yet again. I recall what a writing friend has said is missing, I re-read a chapter in John Trudy’s The Anatomy of a Story, and gradually I find a shape. Light in the confusion of dark branches.

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