Completing the First Draft of a novel
29 January, 2015 | By Goldie Alexander
I have neglected my blog for many weeks. Mostly because I have been trying to complete the follow up to ‘Penelope’s Ghost’. After having that romance appear from Borough Publishing Group I was commissioned by Scholastic Australia to write a Holocaust novel. Not another Holocaust novel! But this one was different. This had to be written for a very young readership – children aged nine plus
How hard is that? How to make such a dreadful topic appeal without scaring my young readers? I have to admit that it turned out to be as difficult as I expected. I quickly realised for example, that a child would find the random shooting of a dog far more horrific than killing a person. I also found that some of the bloodier events had to be curbed, almost glossed over. But between my clever editor Claire Halliday, we managed it and the book will appear in March, just in time for me to travel to Sydney and hopefully talk about the experience to a conference of history fiction authors.
So with ‘My Holocaust Story: Hanna’ completed I returned to ‘Emily’s Ghost’, the follow up to ‘Penelope’s Ghost’. And now I’m stuck on the ending. This is where, in any decent romance, the couple find each other – both physically and psychologically – and walk into a wonderfully romantic sunset.
Maybe my plot is too convoluted. Maybe I’m just reluctant to finish as I’m not sure what I intend tackling next. And writers have to keep writing. Not knowing where to go next is an ongoing nightmare. So just to reassure any reader facing a similar predicament that ‘it’s not just them’, I thought I’d mention that the empty screen is always terrifying no matter how many books one has written.
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