Hunting Jack is moving full steam ahead. When I left it this morning to leave for the day job I had some important decisions to make with regards to the ending, none of which I answered. So I ploughed on with it over my lunch break. I’m finding it easier to answer the questions while I’m writing – not beforehand.
Jumping ahead, by the end of the day I had only one chapter left to complete. The final three chapters have, though, been chopped and changed, edited heavily and re-written from scratch. It’s still a 39 chapter book, but it’s a totally different build up and conclusion to how it ends.
The day job rolled past sad and meekly. Not only was my jacket soaked to a shine by the time I got into the office, but so were my shirt, trousers, and boxer shorts. This isn’t rain we’re getting – it’s punishment from the Gods. I can’t remember there being so much rain in any month, let alone August.
Forgot to email my editor about the new project idea – will do that tomorrow.
Smashie was buried in the back garden.
Today was my fifth day in a row at the EBF, and I’m getting tired. My brain is worn down with all that I it has absorbed, ingested, and involved itself it, and it’s manifesting my physically too in the form of a sore back, a nervous twitch in my left eye lid, and lethargy. The opposing feelings of adrenalin, excitement, and joy at being involved with the Book Festival more than counter this, though I think when I come down off this particular high I’m in for a bit of a fall.
This afternoon, however, saw me attending a workshop that was at the top of my list when the programme was first announced: Crime Fiction Writing. Led by crime author, Aline Templeton, the workshop covered a lot of aspects of crime writing that make it different from literary writing, or other genres in some cases, too. I covered a lot of the definite dos and don’ts, tips and advice for starting and concluding a crime novel, research, idea generation, clichés to avoid, and things to remember when writing a standalone as opposed to a serried.
It was, on the whole, extremely useful. Aline gave us some sheets with the names and locations of useful reference material, including some particular books on forensics and police procedure that I had been unable to find on my own – I now know where to find them.
The group had a younger element to it (thinking back to the self-publishing for OAPs session I attended), and it was a much more outspoken group, too. For some reason, I’m discovering that crime writers tend to be more willing to talk to one another than non-genre writers. Is it only crime writers, or are SF or chick-lit writers the same? I wouldn’t know, but it’s interesting how a conversation in crime writer company is more open and instant, than writers of a literary nature.
Something else I’ve noticed is, literary writers tend to want to talk more about he meaning of their stories, what it stands for and means to them, whereas crime writers seem to want to talk about plots, twists, and ways of killing people. This reminds me of the old crime writer joke (told by Aline today, too):
Q – How many crime writers does it take to change a light bulb?
A – Two. One to put the bulb in the socket, and one to give it a good twist at the end.
Tomorrow at the EBF: Alan Johnston, Ian Rankin
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