Yesterday I should have really taken my own advice
(about small amounts of considered writing being better than reams) but I didn't. Instead I wrote 4,000 words and they didn't work at all. For this I blame Ian McEwan. I went to sleep the previous night with his audiobook in my head. The tinnitus had returned and I needed to drown out its continual booming. The voice entertained me and then, eventually, lulled me to sleep. But unfortunately the voice also lodged there. I know lots of authors say they do not read other novels when they are writing their own but I have never before found this a problem. Maybe Ian McEwan's was too strong, maybe it was because it was written in the third person and therefore more remote than the first person voice I am aiming for, but anyway I kept hearing that voice as I wrote and I think that is why it didn't work at all.
So today I have turned back to reading the voice that first inspired this chapter I am writing now and it is Dave Eggers's in 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius'. It is anarchic, self-indulgent and more youthful, and much more appropriate for the character I have in mind.