I’m starting to think about my second novel, a lot. I keep falling into my fictional world at inopportune moments. The other morning I burnt six slices of toast in a row, trying to make breakfast for the kids as three of my characters made an important discovery on the banks of a river. My husband’s found me standing over a notepad, dripping wet from the shower, scribbling notes of an imagined conversation before they disappear back into the mistiness of my mind. I’ve half-listened to friends as they chat, while an idea whirls and takes shape in my head.
I’m the first to admit I’m a complete novice at this writing game, but one thing I’ve learned is that it’s vital to get the words down – never more so than at night. Night is the worst. A moment of inspiration while just dropping off to sleep, or later, while lying awake in the depths of the night, can vanish completely with the morning light. I keep a notepad and pencil beside the bed now and while I realise that this all makes me a bit of a nightmare to live with – a distracted, half-present and probably pretty crap wife and mother – I recognise it’s a good sign for this second novel. It’s starting to take shape, grow bones, feel more real.