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.
Leaving it for a while was also a sensible decision in retrospect given the turmoil after the election and extraordinary way that the coalition was formed and has, so far, held together. Mandelson’s memoirs and the increasingly fratricidal Labour leadership election have also served to make the dog days of New Labour seem like an oddly far away era that most people would probably sooner rather forget — especially once the hullabaloo about Blair’s memoirs dies down (to be published on Wednesday).
So where does that leave a novel with a theme that was fairly contemporary about a year ago? Fortunately the way I approached the writing was to make the politics rather peripheral to the plot and it’s mainly the generic issues about politics that apply to any MP or government minister that affect the characters.
I had a run this morning and thought through a few interesting possibilities that wouldn’t involve a huge amount of rewriting and might also make the story very contemporary. Given that I have about 50,000 words already and I can come back and revise these having got months of safe distance away then I have hopes I’d be able to reshape and finish that novel relatively quickly — he said with the most naive levels of boundless optimism.
It may also have more of a hook for agents and publishers too if it’s tuned right to the new zeitgeist. Might need a new title, though.