Thursday, December 06, 2012

Post NaNo Blues

I finished NaNo again. Small hoorah for me.

Now I'm in a slump. The days are far too long, the weather is too damn cold and I have the miseries.

I'm s'posed to be researching for the 2nd draft, due to commence in the New Year, date as yet undecided, but I started reading 'Wolf Hall' and I'm back in thrall to Hilary Mantel's writing.

I read 'A Place of Greater Safety' a loooong time ago and she brought that time and place to life in the most complete way. I'd never read any novels on the French Revolution before apart from 'A Tale of Two Cities' as a teenager and after reading her book I've not felt the need.

For some reason I can't fathom I haven't been able to get on with her non-historical novels; I've tried twice to read 'Beyond Black' and given up in despair.

I ignored 'Wolf Hall' when it first came out because I wasn't reading fiction at all at that point, but when the brouhaha started about 'Bring Up the Bodies' I decided to get both books. I started reading 'Wolf Hall' the night before last and was hooked in the first 3 pages. Oh Dear Lord! I wish I could write like that.

So Ms Mantel is also to blame for my glooms because her brilliance makes my efforts seem so feeble that I could cry. Howmsoever I shan't give up on '3 Sisters'; there is room for trash as well as genius in books.

Speaking of trash I was dismayed when I read Ian Rankin's 'Knots and Crosses', his first Rebus book, it's crap, utter crap. I couldn't believe how contrived the plot is and how poorly it's written. I read it because he was interviewed for the BBC's 'Imagine' series and in that programme I was thrilled to hear that he writes in a similar way to my method.

My initial thoughts were 'Oh Goody! A successful novelist who makes it up as he goes along without knowing what the ending will be, just like me.' But if 'Knots and Crosses' is typical of his output I have no desire to emulate him, successful or not.

Memo to self: must read at least one more of his books to be fair.

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