We had a visit from another published course alumnus last night — Penny Rudge, author of ‘Foolish Lessons in Life and Love’, as mentioned in a previous post.
I’ll blog later at more length about what she said about the publishing process in general. I was quite relieved that her book deal didn’t follow as a consequence of the end-of-course reading.
I’m quite inspired by the book and our session yesterday.Â I was encouraged that she had a similar background to me and, curiously, the style of her novel is probably closer to how I’ve been writing than mine is to anyone else currently on the course — contemporary setting, humorous, lots of dialogue, other gender POV, European leading character (s), etc.
I’m quite gratified that ‘Foolish Lessons in Life and Love’ has probably a higher literary breast count (and other intimate body parts) than my work in progress could be projected to have — there are scenes in a strip club and seedy strippers’ pub. Â These descriptions are very well done — very witty and frank but never over-graphic, anatomical or crude. I think I’ll Â keep the book handy for my own inspiration — seeing as I’m frequently reminded how sex-obsessed my male character is (wait until Monday’s reading). Â Penny’s use of the male point of view in these scenes is also very accurate, at least from my own observation, so maybe there’s hope for me to use POV the other way.
Perhaps it’s because Penny also has a background as a computer programmer. I think I may have blogged on this before but I was a programmer for about 12 years, have worked in IT since and am now doing a dissertation for an MSc. in Software Development. I asked her a question about how she organised the files on the computer, as a writer, and she enthusiastically answered.
Perhaps IT workers are one of those professions, journalism being the most obvious one, that equips people with certain skills — being able to use a keyboard quickly is one but also in novelistic terms, putting together a novel with its themes and planning probably draws a lot on the analytical skills required to put together big systems. And the revision process is similar in that one small change can have very big knock-on consequences throughout the system or novel (name, setting, chronology changes, etc.).