No… it’s OK – I’m not going mad… yet! Mind, there are some who might consider that I have gone waaaayyyy past that point! I just thought I’d use this blog post for what the blog was originally intended and that was to give you… dear, loyal followers an insight into this protracted, sometimes deluded and always moving forward journey into getting something published! Right now I’d be happy to have tonight’s dinner menu published (it’s chicken curry and rice, if you’re interested?!)
Anyhoooo…. what I hadn’t accounted for is this intense and sometimes overwhelming ‘noise’ in my subconscious. No, I’m really OK – hold off for a moment making that call to the men in white coats. Such is my low confidence in my writing ability, I refuse to refer to myself as a ‘writer’. As and when something comes out the other end I might think about it… but until then I’m not actually sure what I am! I’m no more a writer than I am a ‘sports reporter’… they’re things I am working at and hoping to get right – I’m just me. This morning I was mum, at lunchtime I was ‘wifey’ (because he knows I hate it!) and when dad calls I’m just ‘M’. At work I’m called any number of things… most of them affectionately insulting – at least, I hope I’ve not misread the banter!! Have I digressed again…?! So, this noise? It’s not really a noise, more like a trigger of thoughts that come about when I hear and see things going on around me. My mind starts to work on comments, or things I see and tries to place them in plots and situations that might be useful. When we had our beloved dog, Jasper, the walks I took him on were a time for me to formulate story ideas and flesh out the characters in those stories. He would listen without comment (just as well!) and our walks took me to places which would change with the seasons and allow me to visualise how a place might change through the course of a story. When we lost our boy, I thought I lost the story time I had created. As a working mum, it meant my waking time was quickly filled with family stuff and my creativity felt like it had ebbed away.
In fact it hadn’t really gone, I just needed to find a way of capturing the words, sounds and sights in a different way. I rarely go anywhere these days without a note pad of some description, to record the things which buzz about in the front of mind. It’s my way of emptying the ideas and capturing them before they dissolve away. The reality is I’ll never be a full-time writer… in part because very few people really are full-time writers and also because I’m loving my new-found skills in the media and I need to keep plugging away at that. But my determination to be published is stronger than ever… and my head knows it. And those voices are going mad at the moment.
These are the note books I’m currently working with – some contain general notes – stuff I see and hear. Others have plots and stories that I flesh out. My current story – set on the south coast (surprise surprise) is ‘coming along’ but has been a bit like the elephant in the room and I’ve dipped in and out of it over the winter. THEN we went back to the coast and BOOOOM! The ideas came flooding back. I even worked out the ending, something I’d been struggling with for a little while – now it’s just finding time to fill in the gaps. The trouble is… the voices are back with so many different plots and ideas that I know won’t fit in this current story, so I need to find suitable time to capture those ideas and lock them away until I’m ready to work them through.
It’s long fascinated me how proper writers go through this process – there seems to be no hard and fast rule. I also like to hear how writers find their story lines… my very favourite author Linwood Barclay has often said that he has based some of his stories on the ‘what if..’ moments in his life. Others have characters they construct and build a story around them… I’m very much influenced by my surroundings and the things I experience. I have said before I have a wealth of bad guys and disaffected teenagers that I can draw from….. so watch out!
When my south coast drama is done, I have plans for a ‘marathon thriller’, a boy searching for long-lost family, and something with a supernatural twist. Oh and then there’s the first story I worked on… a kids book, inspired by my walks with the devil dog!
So that’s me… that’s what’s going on in this little head right now! And as for what I’m reading at the moment….?
I heard Tom Fort being interviewed on a radio show as I was driving to work one day… promoting this book based on his bike ride from Dover to Land’s End (who’s the nutter now?!) and as he cycled right through the locations I am writing about, I figured this was ideal research!
Right… I’m off to lock the door before the men in white coats turn up!