Last year saw me writing Alfie Slider vs the Shapeshifter (Alfie 1) and starting the sequel, Alfie Slider and the Frozen Prince (Alfie 2). I got about 10 chapters into Alfie 2 when I got my Consultancy Report back from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy about the first manuscript, at which point I put it to one side to edit Alfie 1. I finished those edits at the tail end of 2015 and put the whole thing on the back burner until January.
The plan was to hit January hard. Submit the MS for Alfie 1 to agents, revise Alfie 2 in the light of edits to Alfie 1, and get the first draft finished. Then I learned two new words; Vestibular Neuritis. Having VN is as unpleasant as it sounds, my balance was shot to pieces and I felt like I was bobbing up and down on a boat most of the time. I couldn’t walk, ached all over, felt dizzy and sick and thinking was completely impossible. By the second week I could hold a thought, but couldn’t access my internal thesaurus. Any writing I did was a painful process of getting to the point where I needed a word and having to surf my way through thesaurus.com until I found the one I wanted. I had to prioritise my time to completing the Critical Analysis course I’m doing for part of my Creative Writing studies.
This week is the first time I’ve been able to actually do some work on Alfie 2. I could remember the overall plot, but had forgotten the details, and I wasn’t sure how big a job it would be to revise it after the chances to Alfie 1. I felt daunted at the idea of starting, so I did what I always do when I feel like that; I did it anyway. Within a few paragraphs, I was back there. Stood in the Monkesto, listening to Alfie chat with Mr Monk, smiling as the plot for this one unfolds and the story world expands.
I love Alfie, Amy, Mr Monk and all the other characters in the book. They don’t feel like things I’ve created, they feel like people and places I go and visit in my imagination. When I’m in the swing of writing Alfie, I don’t have to reach; I know just what he’d do or say, I know what’s behind the door they haven’t opened yet and what’s going to happen when they do. It’s a strange feeling, channeling these experiences from the world of imagination onto a computer screen.
Last week, in my continued search for agents, I came across one who has a particular interest in Sci Fi. I’ve sent him my submission information and now comes the long wait to see if I’ve found the person who sees the magic in Alfie and wants to help me take it forward.