Friday, June 10, 2011

Deja lu

Oh yes, I speak French. Pas grand chose mes amis!

The sneaking feeling you've read something before-- in this case my own work. I finally got back to working on a new novel last week, that delightful exercise in futility which so consumes my life, and I noticed that it all felt rather familiar. Haven't I written this all before a couple of times? I had to check in with faithful and trusted reader C to make sure I wasn't actually repeating myself. She assures me that I'm not, even though I carry on writing young-ish female protagonists. Maybe it's my tendency to obsess over the same tropes--unrequited love, adventure, travel, beautiful, byronic, untouchable men--that makes me feel I've been down this road before. But those are my themes at this moment in my life, those things bring me to the page. Perhaps I will move on to writing about motherhood or divorce or warlocks or something later but for now--I write what bubbles up.

Maybe it's just the routine that feels so familiar, waking up in the morning and sitting down with my coffee, procrastinating on Facebook.  I'm happy to be writing a first draft again--back at the beginning with all things about my new characters yet undiscovered. You never know if they'll go where you want them to, fall in love as they're meant to, or even live to see the last page. If I knew all of this at the outset, it would take away the fun. Ask any writer what's better than the moment that the novel they're writing take a turn they didn't see coming? Nothing. When the characters take the reins, that's when you know they're real, that they've developed minds of their own--and you dear writer, are onto something.

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