Writing novel number five…

I’m extremely happy to tell you that I’ve finished novel number five. Finished the first draft, that is. I’ve still got a lot of editing and words to take out and put in, but the basic story is there.

It’s been a journey that started as the Dirty Sparkle! project with a novel called, unsurprisingly, Dirty Sparkle. I’d just finished a major research project into identity construction that was tightly constrained by rules about conducting experiments, so I wanted to do something that was more loosely woven around the stories people tell in everyday life.

It was a but shock to me when I realised that, instead of writing women’s fiction, the stuffing of my intellectual life including politics and sociology were bursting through the seams of my relationship based novels. This made my work women’s fiction with ‘issues’ and, for the first four novels, I had been stating the genre as women’s fiction when I sent my work to agents.

I had interest, but several agents pointed out that my novels were not commercial chick lit (which I sorta already knew) and couldn’t be placed within that genre. So I’ve taken the hint and written a psychological thriller. This time I’ll be researching fiction agents carefully and selecting those who represent this genre.

So, for novel number five (which so far remains unnamed), I decided to write something about quantum physics and eugenics. They say ‘write what you know’ and these are subjects close to my heart. To wedge these subjects into a novel in a way that doesn’t teach or preach is difficult, but I hope I’ve managed to do it.

So, over the next month or so, the Dirty Sparkle project will be complete and maybe then I will feel more free to write about something that is not identity construction. It’s been a steep learning curve and I’m not entirely sure that I’ve even reach the top yet, but the joy I’ve experienced meeting the character and situations, an losing myself in plots, has been worth every minute. All the writing and equally all the waiting for agents to respond, then breathing in the precious feedback, is honing my sense of wanting, in fact needing, to write forever.