In a week where I found myself writing the term “spunk vampire” in a Bang2writer’s development notes (hi Allen), I have discovered my novel so far is full of profanity as well.
That won’t come as a surprise to those who know me in real life. As my own mother points out, I have “a gob like a sewer”. She had hoped I was one of those teens who would grow out of it in time, but sadly she’s had to give up: f*** this s***!
What did surprise me was the word that has popped up most consistently – and please avert your eyes, my less profane readers – is COCK. I had no idea I had such a preoccupation with such a word; I cannot think of a single time I’ve even SAID it. But there it is, no less than FOURTEEN TIMES, in just thirteen thousand words. Hmmm.
I’ve adopted the Adrian Mead no-rewriting “emetic draft” approach to my novel though, so I won’t be changing it any time soon: I have one hundred and seven thousand words to THROW UP before I can return to fixing such things. I have the ending in mind, I know what I’m doing – kind of – but I’m seeing what turns up. I’m making all kinds of connections between events as I go along, which is weird. Normally I have all my set ups, pay offs etc all planned out in advance – yet now I’m finding them knitting themselves together of their own accord. It seems to be working, but of course I could just be kidding myself.
One really odd thing that happened was the creation of a character I hadn’t planned. I’d always envisaged this novel as a two-hander, with two characters in the lead roles: one male, one female. But very swiftly I got bored – about two thousand words in – and another character, Robbie, was born. He does not play his part *with* my two other main characters in this narrative: he’s actually miles away from them, dealing with his own problems surrounding the situation they’ve all found themselves in. This now means the narrative has more of an ensemble cast, something I had never thought of doing. When did that happpen? How? If you sit down at your keyboard to do something, how do you end up doing something else that you hadn’t thought of? I suppose I must have done, somewhere deep in my psyche, but it’s like, well-weird, man.
Finally, skimming through the start of my novel last night, I discovered that there’s one other motif that crops up again and again: baked beans. Cans of baked beans, eating baked beans, throwing a can of beans through a window. I had no idea I liked the damn things so much. What a voyage of discovery.