THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
There is an elephant in my room, not the big, grey variety with big ears and a trunk, but the white A4 printed sheet type of elephant, lying on my desk, staring back at me, challenging me to confront it, deal with it and ultimately conquer it. And what am I doing? Wimp that I am, I am tip-toeing around it trying not to look at it and most of the time avoiding it altogether. I am going to have to deal with it one of these fine days. I cannot have an elephant occupying my desk for the rest of my life; physically and mentally I need to clear it out of my head.
My particular elephant is a plot-line. I am writing my third novel, the last of a romcom trilogy and my naughty, but handsome protagonist is finally going to get his much deserved come-uppance. Well he has to - justice has to be done and wicked old Tom is not going to win hands down.
I had a lovely plot for him. It sailed effortlessly into my head and when ideas do that I know they are the ones to run with. so, I did some research and plotted it out nicely to the end. Well, not quite to the end. I always like to leave the outcomes loose in my head, because if I know the endings I won't want to write them, because I know them. It's my donkey and carrot motivation.
So, I had this lovely plot which was definitely going to stay up in the air and so I moved on to very happily juggle with the other character's plot-lines and was generally having a whale of a time. And there's the rub, the past tense, dear reader. I was having a good time.
Complete numpty that I am and here I call for sackcloth and ashes, a hair shirt and I'll mea culpa until the cows come home. I made the huge mistake of not researching extensively enough and when I met an expert in that particular field, (friend of a friend), she drove a coach and horses through my lovely plot.
Oh woe is me and a helluva sight more than thrice woe. So here is my elephant, taking its ease on my desk, smirking up at me, my elephant-chicken come home to roost. What to do next? Reconstruct the plot in the light of new knowledge and see if it will work? Or, use that good old fall back position, writerly imagination and construct a whole new plot-line?
At the time of going to press the elephant is sleeping peacefully in my room. The 'Do No Disturb' sign is still on the door. I'm not sure whether I have the courage to go in and disturb it ... not today anyway. Loins need girding up, courage needs screwing to the sticking place. I know one thing, I can't have an elephant in the room forever, think of the food bill.
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