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Matt Dorey

A bird is sitting on the grass with a kite

Untitled 2

Cover image for Untitled 2 post

A few months ago I wrote about an idea for a novel that I'd abandoned. I mentioned in that post that I'd abandoned it because there was another idea that I wanted to pursue. The working title for it is "Untitled 2". (It isn't really, I have an actual working title that would give things away or would at least make me feel like the idea was out in the world.)

In recent days I've mulled over various post ideas and one idea was to write a big reveal of my vision for "Untitled 2". I could set out what the novel would be about, the ideas it would grapple with, and when and where it would be set. Stuff like that.

But I realised that just as with Jackson X and the Summer of the Space Whale, this would mean letting go of the project entirely – because if I let the cat out of the bag, I won't be able to write the novel I dream about.

At the same time, I realised that I wanted to write this post in order to try to set out the idea. It's hard enough to write a blog regularly as the long gaps between posts here are testament too. I don't think I could hammer out eight hundred words a day as well. (Though I guess I won't know unless I try.) And it's not as if that's the only difficulty, at least with a blog I can flit from one topic to another. With a novel I'd have to shape it and make it coherent. Lots of editing would be involved. Ugh.

However, I do need to work through the principal ideas and see whether they're worth focussing on. I can see the benefits of at least trying to flesh out the ideas. There are aspects of the novel that I don't feel confident that I can write. As a result it might be useful to resist my urge to tell you what it's about and focus instead on producing posts to experiment and maybe develop that confidence.

After all, "Untitled 2" doesn't have to be a fantastic novel, it just has to be mine. At least now I can sketch out the shape of the piece and try to set myself those confidence boosting tasks.

Finally, there was a day recently where I did sit and turn "The Summer of the Space Whale" into a more full-blown treatment. It ended up pretty complex. This pleased me because I did worry that it was an over-simple idea and that it couldn't be written into a "proper novel". That's something that's also been a worry for me when I've though about "Untitled 2" but hopefully it will be similarly amenable.

Cover image is "untitled" by Lino Petito, creative commons license. I have not changed the image.

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