Category Archives: Work in Progress

A Most Critical Two Weeks?

Anyone who read the post from a couple of weeks ago ‘Out of the Chaos — A Manuscript’ might be wondering, in the style of a minor cliffhanger, what was the verdict on the 174,000 words that I believed I’d pieced together … Continue reading

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Passing Time in James’s World

I was in Docklands a week or two ago and took a few photos of the sort of corporate world that James escapes from in my novel. Here’s Canary Wharf with a Waitrose he’d certainly approve of. And here’s a … Continue reading

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The Paradox of the Dishy Russian Researcher

I was wondering whether I had something of a plausibility gap in the premise of ‘Burying Bad News’ as I have an MP with an attractive young, Eastern European aide (though mine, Ana, comes from Latvia, which is inside the … Continue reading

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Unearthing Promising Ideas

As I decided to develop ‘The Angel’ during the City course, I’ve not done much bar think about my political novel since a I wrote a piece for a workshop in the spring which could have slotted into either novel. … Continue reading

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Onwards and Upwards

After our reading at the Art Workers’ Guild, Alison was very forthright in her collective praise of the class and she seems to be expecting some big things from us as a year group, although she might perhaps have been … Continue reading

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Addressing Deficiencies

Getting back to ideas for The Angel, I think I may have plugged a bit of a hole in the plot and balanced out the characters a bit by considering introducing a male admirer of Kim when she moves to … Continue reading

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Wordles

A fellow student on an online course I did last year with Lancaster University (and now a Facebook friend) introduced me to Wordle. This is a bit of Java code that runs on websites (doesn’t seem to work with Firefox but … Continue reading

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Revising Chapter Three

I’ve spent quite considerable time over the past week revising the chapter three that I read at last Monday’s workshop. As previously I’ve had lots of really useful comments written on my manuscripts by the other students. It’s also quite … Continue reading

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The Eve of St. Agnes

I bought a copy of the latest Magma poetry magazine when I was in London last week. Its cover article was ‘Favourite Erotic Poetry’. I was interested to see how I poem I took along to the March meeting of … Continue reading

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Looking for Inspiration

I wrote quite a bit in a short time up until the last Saturday workshop — around 7,000 words of the beginning of ‘The Angel — two sizeable chapters or perhaps three or four shorter ones. I tend to like … Continue reading

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Opening the Novel?

Unlike the majority of my fellow students on the City course I’ve not approached the writing of either of my novels-in-progress in any kind of sequence — either chronologically or in anticipation of the eventual order in the book. I’m … Continue reading

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Bender

Both Alison and Emily have said they think it’s a great idea for me to start ‘The Angel’ with James and Kim going out on a massive bender together (or at least have the sequence quite near the start). I’m … Continue reading

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Something Borrowed…Leads to Plugging Some Gaps

The end of my last extract, which unfortunately I didn’t have time to read on Saturday, had a fire scene in The Angel. For some reason I was looking around on the internet for fire and ice imagery and came across some references … Continue reading

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Plotting

I adapted Emily’s suggestion about using index cards to plot novels (and do various other things) by using post-it-notes on a conference room wall in our offices. It’s not as permanent a reminder as having index cards arranged on a … Continue reading

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Village Underground

For ‘The Angel’ I wanted Kim to be a struggling (financially if not critically) artist based in inner London. I’d thought of Hackney as a location for her studio mainly because I’d met a real artist on a German course … Continue reading

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Kim’s Hometown

We got given some homework yesterday — to write in one of our characters’ voices about their hometown. Strangely I didn’t leave it until a few hours before the next class to think about starting it. This probably followed on … Continue reading

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Sunset over ‘The Angel’

I need to make up an exact location for the village in which ‘The Angel’ in located. In my mind it’s somewhere on the top of the Chilterns between Wendover and Lacey Green, probably fairly near Great Hampden or Speen. … Continue reading

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Feeling Happily ‘Validated’

Another intense Saturday tutorial yesterday — so much so we over-ran by an hour, which no-one seemed to mind. Seven 2,500 (mostly) readings were followed quickly by intense bursts of feedback from 12 people (including Alison).  It’s quite draining and … Continue reading

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A Short Extract — Prime Numbers, A Sink, A Gun and Two Rabbits

We were given an exercise to do a fortnight or so ago in which we had to write a maximum of 500 words in which a character from our novel was in a particular predicament. I’d better not say exactly … Continue reading

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‘You Must Be An Angel…’

…I can see it in your eyes, full of wonder and surprise’ — from Madonna’s ‘Angel’ off the ‘Like A Virgin’ album from 1984. I heard this song for the first time in years tonight on ‘Only Connect’ — an … Continue reading

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