6th March 2013 – “7.32 to Euston”
Came away from yesterdays Booktown Writers group meeting with a piece of homework to have a stab at, as we had not had time for a writing exercise due to the AGM, ususal group business and commenting on members work in progress and ideas.
Soo ... I spent two early morning hours with my head engrossed in developing my idea.. Initially it was going to be a short story, but my short stories tend to turn into shaggy dog stories and so my plot and counter plot rambled on and soon I had two characters and their stories all ready to converge at the track side of the 7.32 to Euston (if there is one), the tale becoming more of a novella than a short story. Maybe tomorrow morning I will add more characters and a different sub-plot and make it a full novel. Only trouble is I'm not sure if I could keep my cliff-hanger ending. Decisons, decisions ...
My usual genre is romantic comedy, although I do have three serious novels fully plotted out in the drawer. Maybe the 7.32 to Euston will join them, or will I one day change direction altogether???
7th March 2013 – ‘7.32 to Euston’ - a melodrama.
So, we were given a sentence for homework . Yesterday morning I went off on a convoluted dark plot of death and revenge. In the evening, a friend from the writer's group emailed me with her take on the phrase we had been given. She had produced a beautiful poem about the gifts from loved ones being laid out in the desert for the soldiers in Afghanistan. It was crackingly good. Hazel can go weeks without writing a word and then from seemingly nowhere, will produce a childrens story or adult short story or poem of mind-blowing originality and qualty.
This morning I searched in vain for a good sub-plot for my revenge novella. Isn't it the darndest thing. Nothing will happen when I'm looking for it, but look away and let the subconscious work and out flow the ideas when I least expect them, usually when I'm in the shower, or brushing my teeth. I have yet to find a waterproof pad and pen, perhaps I'm not looking on the right websites.
Anyway, I looked away and went back to my current work on the romantic comedy. I had just nicely got a young Robert Redford look-alike asking out a feminist Head of Human Resources, when up popped the sub-plot for my revenge novella, neatly complementing the main plot, dovetailing in with the ending and still keeping the cliff-hanger. Thank you subconscious. You can take the rest of the day off.
I wrote up the rest of the outline of the ‘7.32’ and can now safely say that there is not a cat in hells chance of it ever developing into a novel, let alone a novella. The influence of early silent movies and black and white films of the 30's and 40's is obviously embedded in my subconscious and crawls out to display itself at any opportunity. I love the high melodrama of the '7.32', but sadly, it is doomed to life in the drawer.
April 15th 2013
I wrote the opening scene of my second novel a couple of days ago and was vaguely dissatisfied with it, but thought, well just plough on and get the story down. And then, when doing one of my many displacement activities, in this instance, washing the kitchen floor, I realised I had written the scene from completely the wrong end. I should have started with Amber finding the note from her husband and worked backwards. Hey ho, back to the drawing board and see how this one works out.