Monday, 25 November 2013

A Novel In Progress

You know when you have an idea that just won't go away? You try and focus on other things, other pieces, other stories but it's always there, niggling away in the corner of your mind trying to tempt you back to it? That's exactly how it was - and still is (gosh, so very much, just always there) - with the novel I'm in the process of writing.

It began with a simple thought that grew and grew. It was: what does it really mean to be immortal? To live, chronologically, for an infinite amount of days, experiencing moments in time one after the other. And what would you do, how would your experience, your life, change, if you could live forever without having to wait for "the good bits" -- if you could travel in time? And what if time suddenly became something else entirely? Not just the passing of one moment to the next, not just a journey but something tangible. Something that can be stolen. 

And what is time? Time is memories, time is dust, time is the tick-tocking of clocks and the freckles that appear out of nowhere; the weathering of body, of mind, of the Earth; the past, the present, the future and beyond. Time gives us memories, precious memories and ones we would rather forget but never quite can. And what if they were stolen, too?

All these ideas, always coming back to time and the stars and how we are all just gathered stardust, held together in a fleeting way, undone by the passing of time. Except for those lucky few - or unlucky, depending on certain circumstances and the way you look at it - who hold forever within them. 

But what is forever without any memories of before? Would it really be better to forget everything you have ever known? If you could forget, would you? If you could have more time, would you take it?

So many questions unraveling from ideas, spooling into answers, and knitted back together into something akin to a plot. Characters that are a patchwork of years of imaging them and others that appear as if from thin air, already perfectly formed and waiting to be written. It's almost daunting, how long you can work on something without even realizing it and when you stop and acknowledge just how much you want to write it, even if the words don't come quite as easily as everything else, daunting becomes a word that no longer describes it right. Scary? Maybe. Exhilarating? Oh yes. Exciting? No question. All of them put together? Most definitely.