Researchers say that taking on new challenges helps slow down the roller-coaster of time passing. So I'm kayaking down rivers, sailing an old boat and attempting my first novel. I find I can write stuff but salvaging the good bits are the challenge. I decided to write a story that has been fermenting away for years and called The Inheritance of Cruelty. It's supposed to be a literary thriller exploring the many reasons why good people do terrifying things. I have no illusions about publication, but I do want it to be the best it can be. When I'm stuck I unbuckle and write a short story. One seemed to be well received so I'm also attempting a book length collection of related stories as well. I use an old laptop that can barely connect to the web - well, it can, but it's slow, so I cannot distract with social media -and it has an old fashioned full travel proper keyboard. So I'm happy.
Tips wanted about writing about an ensemble. I'm writing about a tight knit team. My protagonist is in there, with their love interest and a faintly comic character, but I can't find space for more in the writing. There are obviously characters external to the team. How do I get a group dynamic going? How will the reader remember all the characters and their names? Surely others have to do this? With the crew of a spaceship, the expedition into the mountains, the crack squad, the gang of jewel thieves, the rebellious class? Are there any tips and tricks you can share about writing about the many, and not the few?
I was in a socially distanced pub last night having a chat and unexpectedly, a retired engineer said he had once been asked by a publisher to copy edit a novel. Intrigued, and with the scent of a bit of free help, I said "..and what's your take on the Oxford comma?"
"Terrible!" he said. "gearbox like a bowl of porridge and you had to wrestle the thing round corners".
Confidentiality. Any UK legal eagles out there. I understand professionals writing about their experiences with clients - lawyers, doctors, therapists and so on, could breach confidentiality. If psychiatrist Dr Foster writes about a disagreeable patient on the ward in his 'Hilarious Tales from the Hospital' there's a chance the patient, recognising himself could sue? So how do they all do it? Professional memoires (there's one by a paramedic in the top sellers on the supermarket racks) are all over the place - so there must be a relatively safe way to publish.
Some of you were so encouraging about a short story about Gregory and the Blue Vase (title originally 'Something Special') that I've decided to follow one reviewers advice and develop a collection for a book. Is there a name for a book with sixteen short stories, all interlinked with an underlying plot drawing them together at the end? Anyhow - the second tale is Breaking, Entering and the Big Bang. If you want to help out with some honest feedback I'd be very grateful. I value your opinion highly. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XvwaRsd5lTzhWF20LoU31dO-uDmW09on/view?usp=sharing
I was trying to find the Peer To Peer thread but joining it eludes me. I'm looking for specific feedback on whether a short-story I wrote for my local group might usefully be built into a novel. I hadn't written in first person before but enjoyed writing about something I knew about and (as you do) discovered I rather liked the characters that emerged. It all came to me more easily than I imagined. So I'm thinking of a novel where each chapter is a tale, though, of course, the characters in one story, may be in the background in another. This story is a quick read. Just less than 2k words. My two questions are - Does the idea of branching it into a novel (my preferred area anyway) have legs? And this tale of the streets. Does it make you want to read more - does it work? Warning - the F word appears twice. All suggestions harsh or otherwise welcomed. https://drive.google.com/file/d/122owwBMCGK3vcvVrXibPbOyOwGO6rJdo/view?usp=sharing
I thought I needed to improve my writing CV should I ever get to querying stage, so when BBC radio asked for pieces on lock-down, I dashed off a reflection on being locked up, and sent it off. Basically it suggests we are all on a journey, destination unknown. Forgot all about it, then they broadcast it, and will stick it in the British Library archive. Result! I don't pretend it's brilliant, but if you're curious, it's only 3 minutes long and a boost to my query letter CV! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GtQW1CR3GEL8-BVnBbE_BP0fXns-TYoK/view?usp=sharing