I was asked an unusual question during my school visit yesterday. I’d mentioned that the book I was there to talk about had taken me four years to get right (which is a long time by anyone’s standards) and one of the students asked me if I had ever grown bored of the story while I was writing it. That’s not something I’ve ever been asked before and the question made me stop and think: did I get bored while I was working on this book? And the answer was…yes and no.
I didn’t get bored of the story, or with my characters – they were as brilliant and funny and infuriating as ever. But I did get a tiny bit bored with having to re-read all my research because so much time had passed that I had forgotten all the medical facts I’d learned. And I grew very tired of trying to work out which bits to leave in and take out to make sure the story was the best it possibly could be. Sometimes, it felt like the story was in charge and not me…
So yes, the answer was that there were times when I was bored. But I wasn’t really bored with the book – I was bored my inability to make it the book I knew it could be; a real book of my heart. I have never grown tired of my characters – I still ache for them now and wish I could give them all their happy ever. And I find their situation fascinating: if you could follow the trailink and discover who saved your life, would you want to know?
And I still think being a writer is the best job in the world! Even when I do sometimes have to answer difficult questions.
So what do you do (either as a writer or reader) when you lose interest in a story? any tips/tricks to help?