Lazarus Island reached the exciting milestone of fifty thousand words tonight. I estimate that the first draft will come in at about sixty thousand, possibly a bit more, with some heavy fleshing out to be done on the second draft. Sadly, I'm only able to write at the weekends at the moment. I would probably have finished it by now if I was able to write when I wanted to write. But isn't that always the case? I'm reminded of the story about Tolkien who famously complained all his working life that he wished he had more time to write, only to find after retirement from his day job that he spent most of his newfound freedom sitting in his study playing Patience.
Anyhow, Lazarus Island is shaping up to be something quite extraordinary, at least in my humble opinion. It's ironic that I wrote the first half of this novel about two years ago, then abandoned it for some unknown reason. I then spent those two intervening years trying several other novel ideas in different styles and genres, all unsuccessful, all coming to nothing. In all that time, Lazarus Island never went away. The story wouldn't die, one could say. It remained alive and vibrant in my mind. I look at it now and see that it is absolutely the perfect story, the perfect first novel, for me to write. It encapsulates so much of my own personal philosophy and sensibility that I can't believe I left it on the shelf for so long. I simply must finish it. I don't want to get all heavy here (God forbid!), but one of the most fascinating ideas raised in Stephen King's Dark Tower series is that a writer doesn't 'make up' stories - the stories seek out the author and demand to be told through them. It's a very romantic concept, but one which certainly makes me think sometimes: Who's controlling the pen here? Where did that (character/sub-plot/twist) come from? What are those whispering voices I hear in the dead of night?
Hmmm... anyone know a good psychiatrist?


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