Skip to main content

Covid and My Work In Progress




Despite still being in lockdown, 2021 seems to be rushing along at a breakneck speed. I can’t believe that this weekend the clocks went forward and the nights are lighter. (Let’s hope the weather continues to improve).  

I’ve been working hard on my writing so far this year and one of my goals was to get one of my long standing works in progress to a stage where I can submit it to agents. But I’ve realised there’s a major snag in my plot – and it’s all thanks to Covid – the gift that keeps on giving.

 

My work is a contemporary novel based around a professional woman who is desperately trying to balance her marriage, being a mother to young children and her career. 

 

My heroine is the breadwinner of the family as her husband has recently become a full-time student to retrain. On her return to work from maternity leave after having her second child, she finds that her lovely boss has been replaced with the boss from hell. He’s a bully and seems intent on pushing her out of her job, something she absolutely cannot allow to happen. 

 

And here’s my dilemma. On her return to work she asks if she can be allowed to work flexibly so that some of her hours can be worked from home. Of course her boss flatly refuses believing that working from home is a euphemism for watching daytime TV. Now that Covid has put paid to that kind of attitude, the premise that she wouldn’t be allowed to work from home is redundant. 

 

So now I’m a bit stumped about what to do to fix this. Covid has changed our way of life so much that the dilemma is how do we reflect this in our writing? Do we set our stories before 2020 at the risk of them being automatically outdated, do we ignore the impact Covid has had on our lives or do we try to imagine a life post Covid where we hope that life will return to something that resembles the life we used to know? Bearing in mind the length of time it takes to get anything published, I’m tempted to move it forward to a life post Covid, keeping it similar to how we used to live but adding in the change in people’s perceptions. In doing this I can only hope that I get it right. Or at least close to it so that a further edit isn’t too onerous. So now another major edit is needed. Thanks Covid.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lesson 1 - Put Bum on Chair

Last weekend was a bit full on – several birthdays and of course Mother’s Day, so on Monday morning I was feeling a bit jaded (of course it had nothing to do with the wine consumed!).   So this probably wasn’t the best day to try to get to grips with my latest RNA New Writer’s Scheme submission. I’ve spent a while deliberating on what I’m going to submit this year as I have a couple of unfinished novels that I would like to whip into shape.   The one I’ve decided to work on I started several years ago (more than I care to remember to be honest) so it does need quite a lot of work, and it’s March already. Of course, on Monday I couldn’t concentrate, especially when I realised that it needs to be completely re-written. But, I need to make the most of whatever time I have left in which to write (in case I do get that job), so I’ve decided to set myself a target of spending at least one hour each day on it. And if I have more time, to spend another hour on writing and

The Merrie Month of May

May has always been one of my favourite months of the year, not least because my birthday falls in the middle of it. But to me its when the country properly comes alive after winter. From March onwards things start to change, trees and borders bloom with colour and the weather gets warmer and the nights lighter. But by May it often feels like the beginning of summer and we can celebrate the joy of being outside without having to wrap up against the cold (not always of course because we do live in England). This year we are of course much more restricted but having a bout of good weather does ease the isolation and I'm eternally grateful that we do have a garden and are so much more fortunate than those who don't. Sadly this May I won't be celebrating my birthday with my extended family or by going out for a meal, but I will make sure that I will find some quiet way to celebrate - we do still have a lot to be grateful for.

Work In Progress

As ever I started off the year with good intentions and I made some initial progress writing and submitting a couple of short stories. Then I turned my attention to my current novel in progress. I had rejoined the Romantic Novelist’s Association New Writer’s Scheme, and my aim was to edit a mostly complete first draft into something I was happy to submit for feedback.  Unfortunately this took a lot longer than I had anticipated. There was a lot to rewrite and some holes in the plot which needed some serious rethinking and which involved large amounts of writing from scratch. The novel is set in my home town, Chester, but takes place during the first few years of World War II. It follows the story of two sisters as they reach adulthood, struggling against the backdrop of war and the difficult relationship they have with each other. By the time I had completed it, it was early August. I was happy with what I had done but was equally as happy to send it off and start work on some