Janathon Day 7 – the demotivation Dalek strikes

Motivation was a problem today. This couldn’t get me out of the door, even though I wasn’t going to let myself eat it until I got home – it’s a Hotel Chocolat 5-second Chilli and it was delicious although, if I’m being totally honest, I think the praline was just a little too heavy for the chilli warmth and impeded the full value of the spicy burn. It was morning, the sun was shining, I had forty minutes to spare and I just couldn’t be arsed to run.

Nor could this, which is a less elegant but more substantial inducement in the form of a mandarin cupcake. I made them last night and they masquerade as healthy treats (okay, healthier treats) having half wholemeal flour, unrefined cane sugar and half a pulped mandarin in the sponge and the mandarin zest in the icing. Nope, still didn’t inspire me with the desire to get up and run. By now it was early lunchtime, and sky was clouding over, and the temperature dropping, but I wasn’t in the right headspace to run, I told myself.

By three-thirty it was chucking it down. I logged onto twitter for some tough love, got it, and ran

I ran 2.9 k in driving rain. A more sensible runner would have run in the sunshine but there you go, nobody said I was sensible. And why all this running resistance? Had I hit the wall? Nothing like that. And those who are runners rather than writers might want to stop reading now, because it’s going to get weird.

The thing is, I’m using Janathon, or trying to, to force a character to stop hiding from me. It’s the third major rewrite of my novel, after discussion with a very distinguished editor, who had eminently intelligent things to say about the plotline. I’m at just over 60,000 words and the protagonist has stopped cooperating. She liked her previous life, I think, with a warm and honourable love interest and only one death on her conscience while in the new life her love interest is somewhat warped and twisted and there are two deaths, one of them emotionally brutal, the other physically so. So she keeps sliding back into the character traits of that previous persona, which makes a nonsense of the narrative arc as I’ve reconstructed it.

The reason I know she’s hiding is that I’m not dreaming as her. Yes, that’s right. As her. I’ve discussed this with the inimitable Hilary Mantel who hears her characters’ voices and given a choice of the two I’m happy to dream as my characters. Dreaming as men is really rather interesting if physiologically dislocating …

So the hard work of running and the hard work of daily blogging, is supposed to push me into a state of exhaustion where I hope that my subconscious will flush the protag out of her nocturnal hiding place and get her back on track. I would like to finish this novel’s new incarnation before the allotment book gets published, but so far all that’s happening is a nagging pain in my knee and some rather odd nightmares about sheep which I know are being caused by the fact that I’m reading a sheep-based story at Sparks on 1 February.

And my disgruntlement is why I didn’t feel like running. Perhaps now I have my protag will pitch up tonight and let me get some quality words down, to go with my quality miles.

The cake was awesome, by the way.

1 Comment

  1. maggiee
    7th January 2011

    You need a gps tag on your characters to stop them disappearing and hiding from you,,, how rude! Although personally, as she tends to appear in your dreams, I’d be using the opportunity to eat a lot of chocolate (just for fun really) and sleep a lot!

    Hope you’ve managed to run her out! (so to speak!)


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