It would appear that over the past month I have been somewhat remiss, ignoring this space and wittering elsewhere about the new series of Doctor Who, so it’s time to redress the balance.
By way of a partial explanation to this, my parents went away for their anniversary, and on their travels visited the Fleet Air Arm Museum and brought me back a Biggles Omnibus. Better yet, the four stories within were not ones I had come across in bookshops or libraries before. Result! In consequence, I have spent many a happy hour absorbed in the writings of W.E. Johns once more, the eager child within impatient to see what came next and so spent more time reading than actually crafting my own. I then ended up going away for a weekend for a friend’s birthday, and I ended up re-reading it on the many trains and platform waits I had to take there and back again. They’re classics, old-fashioned adventure yarns that I dip into every now and again, and this stirred my desire to revisit some of my favourites once again around yet more applications.
In other news, recently I had a “light bulb” moment: I found myself constantly being drawn back to an idea I’d had but put to one side, thinking that it could form the basis of a story in the future, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it was potentially going to be more fun, if not a little harder. I decided to sleep on it, and then started to explore the possibilities of it. The bottom line is it means instead of my character’s journey beginning in 1808, it starts circa 1815. I started to write, and found myself getting carried by it rapidly. It means is that what I had originally mapped out, exploits during the Peninsular War, is now the back story, but it opens up a range of what-ifs and on top of that gives me something different. It also feels “right”.
I’ve decided to use a prologue, not just to set the atmosphere but to introduce characters who will go on to play a role later in the story. I know that some people think that prologues can be tricky to pull off successfully, however I think that without it there’ll be a lot more explaining and retrospective passages later on. It’s just shy of 2,000 words, which coincidentally is also similar in size to the first couple of chapters, which makes it relatively fast paced – and quick to read. I’m not sure how much I like it, but my gut instinct is that for those passages it is right and I think that only time and the continued telling of the story will tell. Still, I have to remember that this is only a draft. A friend of mine has already asked to be the first to read it when I complete it, and no doubt her comments will help address any quibbles within it before it goes further.
Time to carry on writing.