Monday 11 September 2017

Back on Song, Spreading My Wings Again

This last year has been a bit of a health challenge so sadly I have not  got to comment on my blog or my Twitter to keep in touch with some great people who think about the world and write and read and let me know what they are thinking. 

Thankfully things are back to normal more or less normal now  and I am reading and writing at last inside my normal writing rhythm  and am two thirds of the way through very the first novella ‘Embarking 1941-1951’ in a trilogy called Lifespan which takes place between 1941 AD to 2,000  AD. Ambitious?   Moi?

So you might say in these months I have only been talking to, and creating for, myself, and that has had to be enough. But now I am about to spread my wings and start to sing again. Can’t tell you how good that feels. Like many writers, writing is not only what I do but who I am. Without writing I am nothing.

Regular readers here will know I am a great champion of the computer as a writer’s tool. It’s there alongside the Internet, the network of Libraries, story telling among friends and family, and a lifelong, well developed Imagination muscle.

However the the longest lasting and the most unique tools are my ink pens and my spine-bound notebooks. I have more than forty of these. I can pick up any notebook and revisit the sheer adventure of building that story which was published ten years ago.walking alongside my  invented characters and following them wherever they lead me. into darkness and light. 

I was wonderful to hear writer Patrick McCabe  on BBC’s Book Club describing his process and insisting that the progress of his novel Butcher Boy came from inside the writing process  and how surprised he was when certain very dramatic things happened. I can very much identify with that.

Herein lies the originality and the energy of any good novel,  This is the antithesis of many present day novel - certainly  decently  written  but rather formulaic and targeted  at the widest market where the first principle is profit. This is not to denigrated my fellow  writers at all. Publishing seems to me to be exhaustively and exhaustingly  market-driven with books seen as products rather than works of art and skill.

But we write on.
When I was halfway through  Embarking 1941-1957 I stopped to make a list
of my characters – names, ages etc, This is so I can keep these imagined facts consistent like the continuity girl on a file. The list came to 25 characters, names and occupations. Admittedly there are only six or seven front line characters. But who knows where they will lead me?  Only time will tell.

More soon …


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