So back in hospital again, just as I’d started writing the second draft. It’s very frustrating, but it did have some advantages. Some, not many.
It’s now a rule of mine that between first draft and second draft I come up with three new characters and at least two new major plot twists. At least lying still staring up at the ceiling for hours at a time gave me time to do that. Also to plan a gruesome fictional death for anyone who knits in a hospital at three am.
I amused myself by watching people cross the garden below and giving them names and jobs and stories based on the five seconds I saw them, which did end up giving me a name and new character for the book.
I was alone this time, so couldn’t overhear anyone’s stories to steal for the book – which is probably more discreet.
I worked out dozens of scenes in my head, just lying there, dreaming all these scenes. I used to worry these would disappear if I didn’t write them down immediately, but they don’t. When the time comes to write them, they come flooding back, and dreaming them out first gives me a very strong visual sense.
My illness is frustrating, and the enforced idleness of a hospital stay makes me scream. But I won’t lie back and waste this time. Every second spent thinking and dreaming and watching and remembering is useful. Everything is noted, everything used, even my own pain. I can write even as I have to lie still.