The most likely questions people ask if you are writing a novel are: "what's it about" and "when will it be finished?" Then, as time goes by, "haven't you finished it yet?"
My answer was always as soon as possible. There was so much more which I desperately wanted to write. A second novel, a third, poems and new stories to explore, adventures to have with different characters and fingers that couldn't type fast enough.
I said that I had to learn how to "write", find my voice and style which would only come through practise. A novel was different to a piece of prose or a poem. I also had to learn how to manage the volume of ideas which came to mind over the last couple of years whilst researching the 8th century.
In the beginning when I thought of a solitary man sitting on a stone wall gazing out to sea, I remember asking myself the 5 questions - why, where, what, when and how? The answers pieced together became the plot and eventually a timeline.
Durstan, a Monk, was scanning the sea for the arrival of the Vikings on Iona in 794AD. The 1st edit completed the gaps in his story and with further consideration it was done.
Different characters are still waiting in the wings for their chance to be on the page and will no doubt fight me for the opportunity, but Durstan and Ailan's story will continue in Book 2. I'm planning to write this next whilst I am still very much in their world.
It can be a solitary occupation being a writer and I've enjoyed hearing different viewpoints on social media, realising that other writers have the same fears and uncertainties as I do, but their success shows too that it can be done and which has been an inspiration.
It's a long journey writing a novel but I'm ready now to take the next step and submit the first 3 chapters with a synopsis to a publisher.
The Celtic Cross which I bought from Swanwick, the UK Writers' summer school, a few years ago when I began to write stays on my bedside table. I didn't realise how important it would eventually become as a reminder to persevere and continue writing about a Monk's love in the 8th century.
Happy writing, Google+ Friends. I hope you have a great week. Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.