Monday, 21 January 2013

London, Research and solid foundations

Hi folks, a late update from me. Saturday morning, I went to London for the day with family – as a birthday treat for my mum. She’d wanted to go on the London Eye for a long time now, so I booked tickets and we took her. Britain has been gripped by a layer of snow on Friday, so I was a little worried about the logistics of my plans but everything worked out well. London seemed empty due to the poor weather, so was the train and the underground – making for a nicer day all around.
Anyway, back to the writing. Over the last week, I have edited the first four chapters of TFD – by rereading and smoothing each sentence until the novel’s beginning is perfect. I love the tone and voice that is lifting from the page. With my first novel ‘Her’, I didn’t manage to achieve this for quite a while – which felt a little like building a castle on shifting sand. I didn’t polish the first chapters until I had completed a vast quantity of the novel, so throughout the writing process I kept thinking and going back to add details to the beginning chapters. Looking back that was a mistake in my process and so I vowed I wouldn’t do that again. With TFD I now feel that the foundation of the novel is well constructed and laid correctly, which frees my mind to move forward with the plot.
This week, I have spent quite some time doing research about specific sports. I find it amazing the depth of knowledge I can find with an hour on the internet – though you do have to be so careful to check and recheck details to ensure that the web source is accurate. I love doing research so have to be careful that I don’t spend too much time seeking details that aren’t relevant – though the more you know the more it shows in your writing. It really is a fine balancing act between time and knowledge.
I always add personal details into my work; names, places, memories and favourite sayings that relate to my own life but by fictionalising the details my life becomes embedded without being obvious. With TFD I have managed to add a favourite house, a favourite book and a great grandmother’s name – each adds a little bit of me into the novel.
I have finished reading ‘Treasure Island’ by R.L. Stevenson as part of my university studies. I wasn’t looking forward to reading the book, I had a negative opinion of the book because I knew it was about pirates (which was wrong of me).  But, I have to say, I have loved the adventure. I shall now return to reading JK Rowling’s book ‘The Causal Vacancy’ – which I was half way through.
Finally, I have two writers meeting this week, where I shall be reading the opening exert of TFD – this will be the first feedback that I’ll be receiving so fingers crossed the groups like what they hear.
Remember you can follow my journey on Twitter @odwyer_author  - Enjoy!

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