Preparing to progress with writing

Yesterday, I said that I hoped to write another 1000 words. I didn’t achieve that, but I did make progress in other ways. I am now up to 2,500 words in total, but I have realised that my initial structure wasn’t helpful, so I went back to the solutions that I used there.

I have now reconstructed my family tree groups, created a map of my fictitious town, and made a plan drawing of the Church Hall where the weekly sequence dances take place. Today I intend to create a calendar for the year ahead, in 2005, to block in the times and places where events are planned to happen. I don’t yet know what will happen at these events, but it will give me a skeleton structure to work with. I will also start an Excel chart to build back stories for the characters. That chart will provide a row for every year for the 75 years prior to 2005. The columns will plot character names, dates of birth, dates at school and further education, dates of starting work, dates they met/married/ started to live with/divorced/died etc. This will be my key chart to ensure that the story doesn’t have too many internal inconsistencies/improbabilities, or impossibilities.

I had hoped that today’s featured image would be the map I created in Excel. Apparently the jpeg image of my map is not large enough to use. I will seek advice about how to fix that problem. In coming days, I plan to include the other charts I am using as examples of the way I write. Today’s map shows the location of the key locations indicating the streets where I will place characters to live, work and meet.

I have no idea whether or not my ideas suit other writers because I have never met any other writers. I have never attended any creative writing groups or classes. My only experience is of starting writing during Lockdown. I’d love to know what other, more experienced writers, think – especially if they have any suggestions, either from their own experience, or about online resources.

Today’s featured image should be large enough – it was almost 22Mb before I resized it. The image is a photo I took a while ago of the Silver Jubilee Bridge between Widnes and Runcorn across the River Mersey. At the moment the bridge is closed to traffic. It has been replaced by the new Mersey Gateway toll bridge, but is being refurbished to be brought back into parallel service with the new bridge shortly.

My Books

Lone tree at Lake Buttermere

Good Day,

Today I have added a new static page to this website called My Books. This is so that anyone who wants to see the kind of information about the books that I’ve written in this blog will be able to see it through the menus without having to trawl through older pages. Although my website is still very much a work-in-progress I intend to write another 1000 words or more towards my new book.

It will be called “A New Tangled Tango” and will be another eBook when published by Kindle. Whereas my the main characters in my first novel were in their late twenties and early thirties, those in my new book will be in their late fifties and older. The book will be set in a fictitious post industrial town in Northern England. The time will be 2005. The context will be a small group of whose common interest is sequence dancing. They will meet at weekly dance session evenings; at meals hosted by group members but also at days out.

I have no idea yet how the plot will develop. I didn’t when I started writing the first book. That evolved out of a challenge to myself and my wife by our daughter to do some creative writing to pass the time during lockdown. My only previous experience of writing had been things such as consultancy reports, committee reports, training manuals and other business-based items.

Creative writing was, and is, a real challenge. My daughter read the first few pages of the first book and pointed out that they gave no idea of what my heroine looked like, how she dressed, what she was thinking or feeling, or of any conversation she was having. I had been writing merely descriptive prose about an evolving situation. That insight, in itself, was a game-changer. I accepted the criticism and started from scratch.

Writing became almost an obsession. The characters, their relationships and the plot dominated all my waking time. My wife and I talked about nothing else but our books. She is reaching the end of hers now.

Anyway, I think that the above will have to suffice for today. It’s becoming a novel in its own right.

More tomorrow……

Writing – Persephone and the Photographer 3

An Excerpt

“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” she said. “Rewind.”

“Adam,” her voice was insistent as she faced him, “look at me,” she said firmly, “You and I need to talk – and I mean now.”

“I’m going to put on my amateur psychologist head,” she began. “Adam, you seem to me to be conflicted. From things that you’ve said and done over the past few weeks I have the distinct impression that you’d like us to be a couple.”

He nodded.

“On the other hand, you seem to have very low self-esteem: perhaps because of the way Mary dumped you. You have also picked up on something Neil seems to have said about me being too good for you,” She continued, “So, you’d like us to be a proper couple but you don’t think that it’s really on the cards. Then again you seem to want whatever kind of relationship we do have to continue – for whatever reason – but that isn’t the issue.”

“OK,” she said, “I guess you are worried that if we aren’t already a proper couple that I’m going to turn round in a few weeks and break up our less-than-coupleship .That when you’ve exhausted your list of places to take me I’ll dump you.”

“Bottom line”, she concluded, “You don’t want to be dumped – either because it would be a second time and even more hurtful than the first – or because you simply don’t want to stop seeing me. Does any of that sum up your conflict?” she asked.

“Yes,” he started, “but…”

“But nothing,” she interrupted, “I’m in the chair! Let’s get one thing clear straight away, I’m not about to dump you. I know that you have been hurt but for one thing I’m not Mary. Secondly, I can’t dump you. That isn’t even logically possible. You’re supposed to be an expert in logic, Adam. A contract can’t be broken unless there is a contract to break. Can it?” she asked. “Have you and I exchanged vows of undying love? That was intended as a rhetorical question,” she said quickly, “But if not where’s the contract? Thirdly I don’t know you well enough to dump you,” She paused, “If there had been enough evidence that you were dumpable I’d have done it already. I’d have dumped you at Starbucks.”

“Listen,” she insisted, “You’re a really nice man, a really likeable person – but you must start believing in yourself – and in me. You have to start trusting me and in my judgment. We could have a wonderful life ahead of us – or not,” she added, “but slow down. If our friendship is one that could blossom, allow it room to grow. Let some light into it. Are you OK with that?” she pleaded.

Writing – Persephone and the Photographer 2

Following on from my last post, the eBook is about 186 Kindle pages or 54,000 words long.

It’s a simple love story. Two people in their late twenties, early thirties are brought together by chance. Both have endured sorrow in their pasts. They hardly notice each other, but fate seems determined to lead them to further chance encounters, then to planned outings together and soon, to mutual attraction. How far this can develop is complicated by their pasts, but then fate intervenes again with two potential hammer blows to the budding relationship. Set in Merseyside, England and the Snowdonia National Park in Wales, the book should appeal to those with a love of hillwalking, photography and Snowdonia, but I hope will attract anyone who loves a love story.

In my next post, I’ll provide an extract from the book.

Persephone and the Photographer 1

Welcome to my first blog post

This is the title of my first novel – recently publishes as an Amazon Kindle e-Book. My next two posts will say more about it.

I also intend to write some posts about a new novel that I am working on – or will continue writing if I ever get this website up and running.

The site is about writing and photography so there will be some posts about my creative writing process but also some about my other, older hobby (read obsession) od photography.

To complement these two aspects of the site, I will also have something to say about equipment.

I hope that you enjoy my ramblings.