Tuesday, 3 November 2020

In praise of housework


Now, that's a phrase I never thought I'd say. Much as I love having a clean and tidy house, I do not enjoy doing housework. But - like knitting - it's a repetitive, low level of brain-involvement type of activity that clearly allows my brain to be working on other, much more interesting things. Like solving a big plot-hole.

Last week, I realised that my Muse wasn't on strike, I was just trying to write the wrong book. Despite being able to see almost all of the book, there was one big thing that I couldn't quite work out. It was a fairly fundamental part of the book which would need clarification relatively early on in the novel, but however much I tussled with it and turned it this way and that, I couldn't see a way to make it work.

I left it alone, with the hope that my brain would figure it out at some point. After all, in every book I've written, I've come across at least one problem like this and every time, my brain has come up with a solution.

Much like last week, when the book essentially fell into place while I was in the shower, this week, the solution to the sticky plot issue came to me while I was cleaning the kitchen sink. At least this time I didn't need to dash through the house, wrapped in a towel, before I could get some notes down!

Now I just have to write the thing! But at least my Muse is talking to me again and I can see the book properly.



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