The view from my window is a city I have never seen before. It had a sunset sky last night of surpassing magnificance, mounds of gold and pearl cloud against pale blue, pink, lavender. We walked the calm streets and found a restaurant with marble tables set with lemon and tomato. I drank prosecco and he drank gin and tonic and the food was perfect fish. We wake this morning, this day, to this city to see a play about a virtuoso pianist who went mad for a while but then got better, at a place called Three Minute Theatre. This is not a fantasy, although I do often dream I am in an unknown city. This is Manchester. #TellYourStory 21 June 2017 National Writing Day @WriteDay
How do you write about a place you’ve never been to? How do you write about a time you’ve never lived in? Or how do you bring your writing to life? Come and hone your writing skills, and acquire new ones, with Susan Lee Kerr, local author, haiku poet and creative writing tutor. Susan, known to She Voices members, was born in West Virginia, raised in New York, and is now a dedicated Londoner. Her novel, The Extraordinary Dr Epstein, is the true life of an astonishing 19th century immigrant. As his great granddaughter, Susan drew on family tales, fact and imagination to tell the turbulent story that she draws upon in her workshop.
SHE VOICES WOMEN WRITERS welcomes newcomers to this workshop on Saturday morning 17th June 10.30 – 12.30 At Richmond Library, Little Green, Richmond Upon Thames TW9 1QL.
And I thank She Voices for this lovely opportunity!
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.
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.
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.
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?’
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?