Thursday, 8 January 2015

Keeping It Real

My second novel is called When Skies Are Grey. It is set in London between the late 1950s through to the 70s.

Being a mere slip of a girl I've had to do a lot of research about 1950s life to add authenticity to the story. Although my setting is in the part of west London I grew up in I've had to make a decision as to how authentic the details of the setting/location actually are.

I wrote the first couple of drafts almost blind. That is, I threw in street names that didn't actually exist but when it came to more well known places I had to locate them correctly.

So, as I started writing the final draft, I needed to go and do some research. My research into the local area showed me see that I hadn't remembered my childhood neighbourhood as well as I thought I did. Then came the big decision. After browsing ordinance survey maps of 1950s west London, do I keep the novel real by using actual street names or do I stick with the fictional ones I used in early drafts?

Decisions, decisions.

As a reader I like the idea of being able to relate to a place in the world I know by seeing them appear on the page exactly as I remember them. But I also forgive writers who use local information to suit their story.

Which do you prefer?

I suppose the answer will come to me as I write. Most importantly is that I've written a story that people want to read. As long as the location suits my storyline and plot, I'm hoping that will win my reader over.

So - it's back to the editing. Here goes!

Monday, 5 January 2015

New Year - New Novel

I've been a bit slow in getting back to posting on my blog. It's just been an incredibly busy December as I'm sure it has been for most of you.

Well the Christmas decorations are down, all the Christmas goodies are either eaten or drunk and now the serious business of getting down to some writing begins.

It's finally time to finish editing When Skies Are Grey, my second novel. I took the advice of the experts and left my manuscript alone for as long as I could. For me that was approximately one month. Long enough, a lot of you might say, and I agree.

The thing that's prompting me to get on and do this next and, hopefully, final edit is a competition I'll be entering. There is a cash prize, which I'm not turning my nose up at, but there is also the chance to secure agent representation. I know it's a long shot but I have to at least try. I might get lucky-

So, whether I win the competition or not I'll have completed my second novel and I'll be feeling like a winner either way!

Wishing you all a Happy and Lucky 2015!