Wednesday, 30 June 2010


I haven’t been writing about writing much lately, have I? It’s not because I haven’t been doing it – I have, honest – but I used to blog a lot about the book I was working on, and the characters (some more than others, admittedly) and now I don’t seem to do that so much. I’m not sure why this is – it certainly isn’t a conscious decision. I think perhaps it might be something to do with the fact that these days I find I’m writing less and less to a plan, so I really don’t know where the book is going, what’s going to end up in the final version and what will hit the cutting room floor.

With this story I feel like I’m walking in thick fog, but I’m not worried because I know the characters very well and I trust them to steer a good path through it. I love the heroine particularly much. She’s called Sophie and she reminds me a little of Sarah in Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper but with lots more confidence and a much naughtier sense of humour. The hero is a little more elusive – but deliberately so, which is OK. The key words for his character are ‘distant’ and ‘disapproving’, and the closest I can find to a physical representation of the man in my head is this one…(partly for his upright English looks, and partly for the qualities of the character he plays here!)

The theme tune for the book is this one (the key line being ‘Living alone is all I’ve ever done well…’)

I’m enjoying writing this one. Just have to focus on the voices of the characters in my head and not the tick tock of the deadline clock. So what about everyone else? Is it fog or bright sunshine in your writing world?


Rachel said...

It's hopeless frankly, India!

The last month of the school year seems to be chokka with events, urgent last minute requests for cake donations, birthdays and FORMS. So many forms...And things to launder.

Gah! I am in awe of your ability to write at all, let alone so beautifully. So keep up the good work and press on with your latest, you wonderful woman.

This new heroine of yours--does she like On The Buses by any chance?

Lots of love,


Michelle Styles said...

Nearing the end of the very long revision tunnel.
Have you seen Matthew MacFaydenn in Spooks? Same sort of feel as his protrayal of Mr D.

I adore Nanci Griffith. I once saw in Newcastle...

Catherine J said...

Good luck charting a course through the fog with Sophie and her hero. The sunshine outside has been luring me into the garden with a good book. Hope there's time for some sunshine in your forecast too.

Kate Hewitt said...

Endless fog, at the moment, alas. I've written one chapter and I think I'm going to have to scrap it. Not a great start. Your book sounds wonderful, though!

India said...

I think Sophie would definitely be a fan of On the Buses, Rach. She's a not very successful bit-part actress herself, so she'd probably class it as cult viewing. Sorry to hear you've hit a man (or child)-made wall in your writing, but I'm sure the inspiration from Greece will ferment nicely over the summer and be ready to pour into a ms in September!

So glad you're near the end of the tunnel Michelle. Are you raring to go with something new having spent a while revising? Or are you just desperate to take a break from the keyboard and get out and see a bit of life? (and family!)

(Didn't see Spooks - but sounds lile a perfect youtube excuse...)

Catherine, me too! The unfortunate thing is that my book is set in the depths of winter, and I've been trying to remember what it feels like to be cold. No wonder it's an uphill struggle (and in fog too!)

Kate, you'll make it through the fog! I know that feeling of knowing you're not on the right track and needing to go back to the start - did it repeatedly in the last book, and it's desperately frustrating but necessary, unfortunately. Once you find a firm foothold you'll be well on your way. Good luck - you'll do it, and it'll be fantastic! x

Ellie Swoop said...

I'm full of admiration India! I look forward to the time when there's room in my head for my characters to take over, the real life ones are having a bit too much to say right now. It will be an interesting exercise for me to try though, and I still have those paragraphs on the go from the workshop with you. I still treasure your wonderful, open, honest energy and will continue to write most days, somehow.
Love Ellie xx

India said...

I so know that feeling, Ellie! But I find that the more time you spend in the world of your characters the louder their voices become. It's a bit of a vicious circle though, because unless they're calling to you pretty stridently to start with it's all too easy to stay away. Music helps me, so I always try to put together a soundtrack for the book, or if that doesn't happen (and it doesn't always) just one or two songs that sum up a situation or an aspect of the characters or their conflict.

Send the paragraphs when you're ready, but only if it's helpful do them. Otherwise send anything! Above all - keep going. A book is built a page at a time!