I’m writing this during Covid lockdown.
The date is the 9th of July 2021 and due to the Delta variant, we’re not allowed to leave our homes here in Sydney unless totally necessary. As I’ve often mentioned in my blogs, I can’t write unless I’m alone without distractions. My husband is home with me and I have a list of editing notes for rewrites waiting to be added to one of my works in progress.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and cherish the time we spend together. Human interaction was around long before digital interaction. And one advantage of this downtime is that the solutions to problems with this novel come to mind at random moments. Like while making dinner or showering.
I’m considering deleting a character.
The WiP is Virtual Insanity, the sequel to Social Media Central. I’ve blogged previously how the feel of this dystopian novel has changed since its initial pre-covid draft . There’s a young character named Edgar who is learning to cook from Sonya, an older female. He relishes in mastering an art which requires no digital input.
As many of us are now cooking more because we’re forced to stay home, the impact of what Edgar represents has diminished. Many characters in the first half of the book need further development, but to save me time, Edgar can be cut. There is no need to inspire the reader to try a new recipe or to bake bread. So, goodbye Edgar. You’re fired.
There is also an old diary which is referenced late in the novel.
Its written by someone who is middle aged in the early 2020s, but long dead when the story takes place. In the current draft the content of the diary references Australian political issues. But during Covid, the impact of its contents doesn’t have the same bite. This pandemic has made us rethink who we are and what we should be, uniting us a little more. It’s also forced us look forward.
I still don’t know whether I should mention Covid-19 in this diary. If I do, what happens after publication will either make this book more relevant, or less relevant, depending on where this pandemic takes us.
I have fresh ideas on what should be in this diary.
They don’t focus on politics. They focus on how we lived when we had more time on our hands, which is ironic, because a lot of us have more time now. We’ve stopped wasting our time on things that don’t matter.
And maybe this is the direction of the next draft. Not lamenting what we’ve lost but celebrating what we’ve rediscovered.