|Image from Hist Novel Soc.|
I was convinced I did not want to go on despite the fact that I was quite enjoying watching the story develop. And I was definitely enjoying the research into things as diverse as breastfeeding in the nineteenth century; when STOP signs for traffic came in (1915, so too late for my purposes), and how to clean brasses before Brasso (with rum, apparently).
Even though I hated what I had read of the NIP, I could see that the writing improved as it went along. And, it occurred to me, that if it improved maybe it would keep on improving. I comforted myself with the thought that the more I write the more I understand my characters. And, sure, I can always go back and edit the start with the knowledge gained as I write forward.
And I remembered a conversation with novelist Claire Kilroy from a few months ago, when I had just begun the novel.
Me: 'I'm at The Fear stage.'
Claire: 'Is there any other stage in novel writing?'
So I decided to feel the fear. I stopped researching so much (I am convinced that is what killed the last hist fic novel I wrote) and I let myself just write. Every day I sat at my desk and wrote a little. And I found, by doing it, that I still wanted to write this book that is so scary and unwieldy and possibly awful. I love my two female lead characters too much to just leave them dangling in some horrible limbo. And anyway, I reckon I will learn more by pushing on and finishing the book, than by running away.
So, on I go. With lots of fear and trepidation. And a little sliver of hope.