I finished Chapter Four today and the story is beginning to grow. One of the - many - challenges of this novel is that the plot could be written on the back of the proverbial postage stamp. This is quite unlike me. All my previous novels (and novelettes), while very strong on character, are also very much plot-driven. There's always a big story to tell and a lot going on. There are a lot of other characters too and even the minor characters get their quirks. This novel is primarily about mood and almost all the peripheral characters have very little character - which is an integral part of the story. I always knew this was going to be hard to write - probably why I took three or four years before feeling brave enough to tackle it. I felt that I needed to be a more mature writer. I needed to leave parts of my self behind. I needed to step out of my rage and disappointment.
There's a reason why writing is cathartic. At the end of this novel, I don't expect to be the same person I am now.
My main character is looking forward to the daffodils that grow beside the lake in spring and I've imagined great swathes of daffodils, huge fields growing wild with every kind of daffodil bobbing in the breeze: those big trumpety ones, the ones with little frilly orange skirts, the creamy ones that look as if they're going to a wedding, teeny tiny ones, the ones with petals that explode backwards in a star shape ... I really love daffodils. I have to make do with tiny patches of them on the squares of Bloomsbury - flattened by dogs on Russell Square, coming up before Christmas on Tavistock Square, thicker and wilder each year on Gordon Square........fabulous. I just wish there were more of them.