Thursday, September 29, 2011
A BUSMAN'S HOLIDAY
I am very fortunate in that I live close to the amazing crime writer, Sally Spedding - stories to raise the hair on the back on your neck - and she recently ran a three day course on Writing Crime with a Difference at the lovely on Huguenot mansion, Glynhir, which is a couple of miles down the road.
Writers do need to stretch themselves, give the imagination a workout, from time to time. And I love reading crime, watch crime drama on the television and - like every other writer I know - I have a book in my bottom drawer that keeps calling to me. So I gave it day out.
There were ten of us including the French Consul, a criminal psychologist, a criminal lawyer and some fabulously talented writers who could write wonderful stuff at the drop of a hat. That's something published writers never have to do. Write something and then read it aloud to total strangers. Something I have never done, since I never belonged to a writing group, or had a crit partner before I was published. Deeply, deeply, scary.
I had to produce my hero and his Nemesis - and have them confront each other. I had to write about the motivation of two of my characters. And I had to write a prologue.
This was difficult. My idea of crime writing is more Janet Evanovitch than P D James and the opening of my book is very "women's fiction", but there is a crime in the present that is fired by something dark and horrible that happened in the past. And wow. Suddenly I was thinking about my story on a whole new level. The prologue I wrote was rubbish, but I was there at that moment in the past and it is so perfect start for the story that I'm bubbling with enthusiasm again.
And if any of you write crime and need someone to read your novel, Sally charges a very reasonable £100 for a detailed critique of a full length ms. You can get in touch with her via her website.