Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Conf 187: A New Writing Award

No. of words: 6,072

Bought my friend Kate Harrison's new novel Brown Owl's Guide To Life today. A crispy fresh hardback. The first thing I looked at was the Acknowledgements. Very glad to see have been awarded an honorary brownie Writer badge.

See my word count going well then. 20 more than yesterday, at this rate only another 4,000 days to go.

Lots of writerly evenings out lately. Well, 2, plus a workshop, which is a lot for me. On Monday, very good night out at the White Cross . Local writers meet up once every couple of months in a pretty riverside pub. Riverside is an understatement, it's regularly in the river rather than beside it. If you time your trip carefully, you can arrive just as the tide is rising and get trapped in there for hours. Probably why it's popular with authors. I did once forget I had a bicycle parked outside. It disappeared completely. I had to get the bus home and collect it another day.

Instead of the usual writerly topics, grumbling about money and wordcounts, I've been boring everybody rigid, quizzing them about themes and hidden narratives, conscious or sub-conscious. One writer, in the middle of a novel that's going very well, preferred not to talk about it whilst things are trucking along so swimmingly. Fuelling my fear that I'm probably well and truly stuck rather than honing my story. Though she did say she'd noticed only recently that all her stories, plays and books relate to time. Another author has spotted islands in everything he does; another states her themes as 'being a wimp and childhood influences'.

At another pub night I quizzed Charles Palliser about his tutorial on the BBC Get Writing website I mentioned the other day. He sits firmly on the pre-planning side of the fence. Doesn't go for Stephen King's On Writing methods (finding out what happens as he goes along) at all.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

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