So here I am, at the end of day 3.
I’m managing a decent number of words a day and if I keep going at this pace, which I expect I can, I should be able to actually write 50,000 words by the end of the month.
Just saying that, I feel some relief. Who would have thought? That many words on one topic for a month. It really is taking the writing exercise concept to a whole new level. In fact, I have it all mapped out and I can see actually going over 50,000 words, though perhaps not in 30 days.
But I’ve started feeling a bit stuck. The trouble is, it’s not really a story. In each chapter I do have a theme and a subject but in the end it just seems it will be a straight recounting of my 5 years in Ireland. No climax no resolution no denouement. I guess that is the definition of memoirs but as I read the various books on my night table (when I’m not writing), I can’t help but think I’d really like to be putting all this effort into something that actually is engaging, has a plot and draws the reader in.
In other words, a story.
So far, the only real character is me, name changed to protect, well I’m not sure who. And the chapters reel off, describing the towns I saw, the house I lived in, climbing mountains, starting work. But there isn’t anything deeper, anything more to it.
Perhaps it will come in time. I’ve so far been treating this as an exercise, a dare almost, to see if I can do it. I sit down each day and just write, without editing, slowly dropping myself back into the moment. But as it becomes apparent that I can do this, I find myself wanting to make it more than a description of what I did and, occasionally, how I felt about it.
Maybe there wasn’t more to my time in Ireland, maybe there wasn’t even a point to it, maybe it just was. But as a 50,000 word novel, I’m afraid there needs to be a bit more of something. And so far, that something is lacking.
I’m searching for the linking thread, the engaging action, that quality that makes the words on the page a story – maybe even something that can eventually become a good story.
Is this normal? Not the doubt, I know that is, but in the writing of memoirs, is this a common issue? The ability to make daily life something that others can identify with and want to read more of?
Can you think of anything similar that you have read? Did it draw you in?