For around twenty five years of my time on this planet, I’ve thought about writing a novel. I’ve got as far as writing an outline, sketching out the characters and even writing a page or two. The reality is that I’ve never made a serious attempt. It’s always been half-hearted and half-arsed. So the fact that I am finally committing to writing a novel will come as no surprise to those that know me. What will come as a surprise is the genre. I’m writing a Romantic Comedy. Five words, that I never thought I’d utter. Every other book I’ve planned has been crime related. I even had a gritty, crime noir short story published online many years ago. After that modest success, I planned and plotted a novel featuring the characters I introduced in ‘Toni’. As with many of my writerly efforts, it soon fizzled out and I abandoned the project altogether.
Once a year, I have a hankering to try again. I read articles. I think a lot. I sketch out ideas and before I know it, I lose interest. Up until now, I’ve only ever considered writing a crime novel, as that’s predominately what I’ve read over the years. Okay, that’s not strictly true, there was that one time I wanted to write a work of slightly higher-brow literary genius that would make some sort of clever point about ‘mans inhumanity to man’. And, yes, there was also the time I though I could write the next great American novel. Then I remembered I’m not American. I’m Scottish.
I hadn’t really read any romantic comedies, let alone any written by a penis wielding human. The point being, romantic comedies are associated with women. The idea came to me when I read back something that I’d written in another one of my ramblings. In it I said -
“I’m good at two things. Writing and making people laugh.”
We can add ‘makes a mean Beef Hotpot’ to that very short list, but it’s true, those are my two greatest strengths. The obvious thought - “Kev you should write something funny.” That quickly turned into writing a novel and, while out for a walk, the beginnings of an idea came to me. It’s early days in the life of my novel, but I’m really excited. I’ve written the synopsis for around three quarters of the book and yesterday, I started writing the first chapter. That was a bit of a moment, if I’m honest. It’s hard to explain, but, it just felt right. I don’t know if it will be any good. And, when I get right down to it, that’s always what has held me back. The fear that I pour my heart into a novel that is utterly shit. ‘Pure honking’ as one might say. (In Scotland at least!)
The insecurity of potential failure. The possibility that a good idea doesn’t morph into a good novel. Now though, things are different. I’m not writing this for anyone else but me. That might sound arrogant but I want to write a book that makes me laugh. I want to have fun exploring the daftness of life and love, while delving into an archive of ideas. Will some of those ideas be taken from my own life? Definitely. The fun will be asking people to guess what is exaggerated fact versus unadulterated fiction.
I’m putting no timelines on this. It’ll be ready when it’s ready. My commitment to myself is simply that I’ll finally get over myself and write a novel. It might be the only one I write, or, it could be the beginning of something. The only thing I do know, is that I’m going to have a lot of fun along the way.