In David Lodge’s excellent book ‘A Man of Parts,’ he tells how his protagonist HG Wells felt unsettled and out of sorts when he had finished a novel. I can well understand it.
I have just finished work on ‘Outcasts’, my novel about the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin and I feel equally unsettled and out of sorts.
HG Wells’ normal solution was to find some young woman to seduce. Me; I’m going to see ‘The Hobbit’ with my wife, Janine.
It is a strange phenomenon this feeling. I imagine it’s how characters like Wile E. Coyote feel when he’s chased the Road Runner and finds himself over the edge of the cliff. He looks down at the abyss below and turns to the camera with a look of saddened resignation. Those seconds while he stands there, poised in the air, no longer with feet on the ground, are how I feel now.
The solution, of course, is to get down to writing again. I’m fortunate in that I have already written seventy thousand words of my new novel, ‘The Lost King: Warrior’. I paused in the writing of this to do the editing of ‘Outcasts.’
I thought I’d done with editing for a while but, of course, as I’m re-reading the new book I find myself tidying it up as I go. Not, perhaps, the best way to get an overarching view of the novel but I seem to be in editing mode so I might as well go with it.
But in the meanwhile, I have an appointment with Mr Bilbo Baggins.