I’ve been away from the blog for too long. But I haven’t been away from writing. In fact, since I last posted here I’ve written two novels and quite a few short stories, some of which have snagged me awards or prizes.
My third novel, called Que Sera Sera, was selected for the QWC Hachette Manuscript Development program at the end of 2014. I travelled to Brisbane to attend a four day workshop with other participants, editors, publishers, agents, writers and mentors. It was utterly brilliant, took me right out of my comfort zone, forced me to reassess my work in the harsh light of someone else’s day and presented me with the best opportunity for publishing the novel. Added bonus: meeting like minded souls who travel the same tortured path!
I resubbed the revised work but sadly it wasn’t picked up by Hachette. I am now in the throes of resubbing to other publishers. I’m also nearly at the end of the first draft of a teen novel and I noticed something about my writing. There’s a saying: write what you know. The MC in Que Sera Sera is obsessed with Doris Day – me too! In my as yet unnamed teen novel, the MC and his bestie are obsessed with The X Files – me too!
It got me thinking…how can I include Duran Duran in my next work? No, really. It just seems to make sense to include character traits that are easy for me to make genuine. If I understand the feelings that my characters are having, the way their minds work, the motivations etc then my writing will feel more authentic. I know that I write with more feeling when I fully submerge myself in the skins and bones of my characters, obsessions and all.
Of course, the real bonus is having to do field research. During the writing of Que Sera Sera I managed to revisit some Doris movies. And currently, I can indulge in a few eps of The X Files whenever I need to reference a Fox Mulder witticism or a Dana Scully retort.
Whip crack away, anyone?
Know what you mean Vicky. With me it’s place and setting. First ms. – set in the beautiful Tweed Valley, my home town. Second ms set in the Byron Bay hinterland, where I’d live if I had any sense. I know every outlook, every scene personally.
But you have made me want to dig out my old Doris movies. What was the one where her husband is a baddie and she has to land the plane?