Sunday, 6 May 2007


Travelled across the Fens - what a beautiful, wild place. I went to Peterborough on a day-trip, and it was a lovely town all built in yellow stone, with a parish church so big I thought at first it was the cathedral. When I came home all I wanted to do was work on my novel, and I've been at it so long my brains' gone thick.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Premises and Prisons

Still trying to come to grips with 'Premise'. 'How to Write Damn Good Fiction' sets the task of looking at a story every day for a few weeks, and trying to work out the premise. I never realised it was so important. You never think about the premise of a novel unless you're studying it for English literature, and yet it informs almost every paragraph. Tomorrow I'm taking a day trip across the Fens to get some research for the next part of the book, where Thomas escapes from prison and leaves London.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

P is for Premise

Starting reading 'How to Write Damn Good Fiction,' and I'm working on the premise for my novel. The book says that many beginning writers struggle with this, and get muddled up, making a statement about their story which isn't a premise. I wished I had the author there to help me tease the premise out of all the 'stuff' I have in my head for the novel. Spent quite a long time this evening working on the narrative, trying to make my hero into someone the reader will be able to empathise with.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Empathise or Sympathise

Well, today I put my hero in prison and now I'm still agonising about how to get him out of there. In 1826, it wasn't so easy. I discovered that the defendant didn't even get a lawyer; only the prosecution had that privilege. Also, I'm struggling with the art of making one's hero attractive to everyone else. Showed a bit of my work to a published author and she said that she knew she ought to care about my hero's plight, but she didn't. I didn't make her care. She suggested 'going deep into his point of view.' She recommended a book called 'How to Write Damn Good Fiction' by James Frey.