Sunday, 15 July 2007

A Word in the Right Place

Today was one of those writing days when I deleted five hundred words from my novel and typed in five. Whilst I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I came pretty close to writing it off as a 'bad' day. Yet, really, five words can be better than five hundred. It just depends which ones. How about 'No drugs for me, thanks', 'I'll give you another chance,' or even 'I'm so sorry, love.' Yea! Five words rock.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Rejection & Re-Application


A writer's life, like an actor's, is full of disappointments. You have to believe you can win the competition that 7000 others didn't, or get your piece read out on BBC television against all the others who'd like to do the same. When it doesn't work out, you have to get up, dust yourself down and return to the humble and (hopefully) likeable person you were before your head swelled enough to cause you to send off your work in the first place. Today was just such a week for me, with three rejections and a storming head cold just to season the mix. The rain outside in this beautiful part of Hertfordshire resembles an Asian monsoon; and I am returning to my novel. This week, my hero's life changes for ever - and that's what I have to try and portray.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Fight It Out

Today I wrote a fight scene, between my protagonist Thomas Tarling and his brother-in-law, Zackariah Scarrott. It's something I've been working up to for a while. I've been at pains to show Thomas in particular as a 'real' man with hopes, disappointments and feelings as well as a manly 'hard' side. I was becoming concerned that he might seem too fearful for the hero of a Georgian novel, so I set this fight on the edge of Bethnal Green (which in those days was a wilder place than now). A long writing day, but a satisfying one.