Sunday, 11 July 2010

Preciousness, Petulance and So On

Humility is something that I am trying, slowly and painstakingly, to learn. It has been pointed out to me (quite forcefully) that when it comes to criticism of my writing, I am anything but humble. And this will be a great obstacle to my getting my books published, because if I can't accept it from The Chap, I'll have a hard time accepting it from those with zero tolerance for the hyper-artistic type. Well. (Deep breath.) I concede that on some points The Chap may well be right. The first of which is that I may, for the first time, actually have to plot a definite narrative trajectory to make my books' structure tight, coherent and engrossing. Difficult when one is accustomed (as I've mentioned before) to scribbling, as quickly as I can, a record of the events unfolding before my mind's eye.
So. At the moment I am charting, fairly painstakingly, a section that will be inserted into the middle of "Chameleonic". My beleaguered middle-class lady, Richenda, has done a bunk with her working-class lover Jack to the Continent. While there, she begins to descend into the madness which always threatens to engulf her, which she has spent a lifetime trying to conceal; blames her lover for all manner of ills both real and imagined, deserts him in the middle of France, and makes for home. On the way, she is picked up by the police for questioning about a murder committed before she did a bunk, the body that she and her lover discovered in the woods during one of their trysts. Terrified that she will be blamed for the murder of the woman attempting to blackmail her over incriminating photographs of Jack and her, Richenda betrays him in order to save her own skin. Yet in doing so, she is wracked with such overwhelming guilt that she loses her mind and is imprisoned behind sanatorium walls. And, in the meantime, her lover, accused of a murder he had not the capability to commit, has lost everything: the future he had planned with her, his past, his friends, his liberty and his livelihood. In the macrocosm of the wider world, the solitude of the village in which they lived has been shattered irrevocably by the elopment and the savage murder. Richenda's husband, Oliver, a cad who cannot bear to be cuckolded, does his best to see that Jack swings for his crime; her niece, Melanie, who has lived with them for years because her silly irresponsible mother is in the habit of decamping with her latest lover, has lost the love and affection of her aunt and all respect for her Uncle Oliver. Gala, crazed with jealousy after seeing Jack and Richenda together, takes to the bottle and shuts herself up in "La Belle Epoque", a virtual recluse; her sweet but weak little nephew, Carson, is obliged to take care of her.
The greatest difficulty in charting such emotional despair is not to descend into it myself, as I *am* my characters for as long as they persist. Must have plenty of Monty Python at the ready.
Thank you to those who have commented: I appreciate your support so very much.

1 comment:

  1. You might enjoy


Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison