Writing timing

Tricky to figure timings and timeline when a pregnancy, a coma, a death, a post mortem, a funeral and a birth are involved… Now I see why writers stick things all over their walls. I’ve done three A4 pages horizontally stuck together, using a calendar to count out the days and events. I wonder if this will work.

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Writing howl

Oh dear. A sudden wave of boredom. This is not good. Boredom… probably fear, and now I feel panic — I can’t do this! How do I get from X point (missing man identified) to the rest of the solution? It’s not fun anymore… because (1) I know what happened (2) I don’t know how to tell it. Equals: stuck.

Go back and sort out the timeline and smooth the existing writing? Go forward with start of reveals? Obvs: go forward. In writing real scenes with real people I learn things I didn’t know.

Wander though research notes again. Let it get hold of me again.

PS This is a papiermache sculpture I made: Howling Coyote.

Writing 3 voices

Okay! Connections made between characters, the two story points-of-view meet in the draft. Now I have to stop and smooth and put the three voices — T, J & fairytale storytelling into one flow. Then go forward. This is a big turning point in the novel (both writing and reading it!). Do the voices work? When I go from T to J, J feels slow. When I’m with J and go back to T, J feels deep and interesting and T feels shallow or a bit cliché and fast. BUT it IS an adventure to write. I don’t know if it will all fit together. Must work out dates, days, weeks.

Speaking of three — spring tulips here doing their dramatic ballet.

Writing juice

Scene of the crime… that is the Times Crime Club Masterclass last night held way up high. Besides top agent Jane Gregory, top Hodder editor Julia Wisdom, and three super-established authors (Sophie Hannah, Charles Cumming, Henry Sutton) they even arranged a glorious sunset. It’s always good to get a writing boost from those who know. The plot-comes-out-of-character v character-comes-out-of-plot is one to turn over in the mind. And this reminder gave me a huge clue on how to resolve my struggle with Chapter 6: ‘What does the character want? What is in the way?’

Writing with police

Police to the rescue — when researching for my detective novel a great source turns up at the local Chiswick House Café. Community Police Team heard out my tale of an alternative therapist who finds a body in the woods in Chiswick — what happens next? Real police for the real deal from what they wear, what the skipper decides, is she under suspicion, to when CID comes in and how they’ll track that car. And the difference between harassment and anti-social behaviour. Doing their duty, Constable Aung (with me here) and Office Kingsmill wish to reassure the public that Chiswick is safe. But they also like a good story — so that’s two fans for my Julia Deogracias and A Body of Knowledge?

 

 

Hemingway’s House and Rewriting

Writing and where you do it
Jaq Hazell’s been there done that, and created My Life as a Bench as well!

JAQ HAZELL

Writing and particularly finishing a novel is never easy (not for me, anyway) and I’m always interested in any clues from the greats about how they did it, and that’s one of the reasons I love a literary pilgrimage.

In the UK, I’ve visited many houses with literary connections, such as: Jane Austen’s house near Alton, Dickens’ Portsmouth birthplace, Kipling’s mansion, the Brontes’ parsonage in Haworth, Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, Thomas Hardy’s Max Gate, Agatha Christie’s Devonshire hideaway and Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse.

IMG_6049Last summer I ventured further afield, and after the full-on, money-draining, sensory overload that is Disney, Orlando, headed south on a road trip to Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West. This was the home he shared with his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer. It’s a beautiful French Colonial style mansion full of six-toed cats (descended from Hemingway’s own polydactyl cat, Snow White). The house was a wedding gift from Pauline’s uncle…

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Writing desperately

p1120560I am desperate to sort out the timeline. So much depends on the sequence of things. But I can’t figure out actions/things until the players speak, act, interact. That’s where the tension is and there’s tension of time and tension of characters. And then tension of interweaving storylines of J and T. I need to write scenes to know what is happening, only then are the characters real and alive, and the drama is what leads to a cliffhanger or next opening. But if I don’t know the timing… it won’t work. So I am just writing scenes into the blue and putting xxx for days and dates. But whenever I get through the draft and sort it, then the scenes might not work. ARGH, I’ve never done it this way before! = The meaning of the word NOVEL. New. First time. Just talking here from the crime detection writing coalface…

PS A new haiku on so still page here.