Beware of the interloper

Although I’ve managed to avoid redding up the house (see previous post) and I found myself sending off a couple of Christmas cards yesterday because they were for people overseas and I put off going to the Post Office with them at an earlier stage, I haven’t completely wasted my Christmas and New Year holidays.

My main achievement during this break from my day job has been to write 5,000 words more of my NaNoWriMo novel, The Lion and Unicorn Quest. I knew I’d skimmed across some essential details as I wrote the first draft, but to be honest the extra 5,000 words have mostly been devoted to non-essentials and have resulted in the intrusion into the story of a whole new character who already looks as if she might cause a lot more trouble than she’s worth. Now that she’s there I am going to have to find her something useful to do, apart from swanning around annoying people, that is. I’ve thought of a useful task for her, but I’m not sure if she will actually agree to carry it out successfully or whether she will just get in the way.

I suppose in a sense what I needed in this novel was someone to get in the way. The plot unfolded very neatly while I was writing the first draft during November. The neatness was a bit illusory – it was like the neatness in a house when you shove everything in a cupboard just before your mother-in-law comes round, or when you sweep all the dirt under the carpet. I’m at the point now where I have to open the cupboard and let everything fall out in an untidy heap, and then take one thing at a time and allocate proper storage to it so that I can find it again later. Perhaps this new character is the organisational expert who will help me do this – or perhaps, as seems more likely, she is the unruly child who will run off with things and hide them somewhere else before they are put away.

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