Deconstructing a Romance

It’s a fact, I am having a few issues with the second Uni File. It’s not something I am scared to admit to people but obviously it is something that I would like to fix relatively soon.

The thing is, it’s not that I am short of ideas. I actually have so many ideas it is impossible to get them all down in a coherent manner. I am on my third re-write of The Uni File: Year Two – The Art of Keeping Faith. I have effectively thrown away around one hundred and twenty thousand words. Imagine that! Imaging throwing away that many words because you are not happy with them!

Over the weekend I set myself the task of trying to work out why I was having so many problems with my creative flow. Late last night as I sat staring at my laptop I finally realised what the problem is.

The Uni Files is a three novel series, I know in the dark recesses of my mind and in my deepest heart exactly where the story is going. I already have the end of book three clearly mapped out and I know the course my characters have to take to get there. But the truth is that it is rather painful to write and as such I would rather put it off.

I spent the first novel creating a love story that was so deep and believable and perfectly romantic that hopefully anyone reading it would fall in love with the characters and their relationship and want to know more about what happens to them next.

Now … Now with this story I am in the position that I have to unpick that relationship and take it apart piece by piece. It’s hard to write because although I know that the ending is going to be kick ass good, I have to get my characters to that ending.

It’s like introducing your two best friends to each other, watching them fall in love and then having to stand on the side-lines whilst they tear each other apart.

I was thinking about it yesterday and it kind of reminds me of the chef’s on Masterchef where they offer up a ‘deconstructed’ something or other. Like a deconstructed Peach Melba or something along those lines. It still tastes like a peach melba, it still has the same ingredients as a peach melba but it looks nothing like one whatsoever.

This is a bit what it is like where I am with my writing right now. I am deconstructing a romance. They are still the same characters, it is still the same underlying relationship and it is still the same feelings and emotions binding them together but it just does not look quite the same right now. I have to take them apart to put them back together only this time moving them forward so they are unique to this novel and therefore infinitely stronger.

That’s what real life is like though isn’t it? When I first started my writing endeavours I always promised I would keep it real. I would never gloss over anything, it had to represent life and relationships as they actually happen. This is why I always put my characters through the ringer before I allow them their happy ending because that is what you have to do in life. You have to work hard at the things you want, sometimes it is not pretty and sometimes it is a real slog but you keep going because you want the thing you are working for more than anything.

I want my characters to have that ending that I have already written for them but to do so they have to work for it, and so do I.

So it’s going to hurt but I am going to persevere, I am going to take them apart one painful page at a time so that I can stick them back together and make their story all the more believable for it. 

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