As I was browsing my local Waterstones, hunting through the shelves for the perfect literary gift for my impoverished and book hungry cousin, I stumbled across something which makes “Buffy look Fluffy”. I also found myself standing before the reference section, with a writing book in my hand.
I don’t know why, but I fished through the selection of “How To Write A Novel” books and found one I liked the tone of. It was factual, straight forward and sounded like a teacher discussing the best way to go ahead, sort of how my first and second year tutor did when I went to him to say “help, everything is going wrong”. My current tutor acts like she’s my best friend, and rather than asking how I’m doing, we usually end up discussing the Scout group she runs and Lord A384 helps with on a Friday night, or about the mentoring scheme we’re trialing after St Andrews of having “Mums” and “Dads” in the upper years to give practical advice on student life which the lecturers don’t (and probably shouldn’t) know about.
Which led me to think, as I pack my bags for my few days in the Capital, that I’m not just putting this story to one side anymore. This redrafting isn’t just writing from scratch again, poking around then dropping it. I want this book to work, to finish, for me to hand it to my Dad and say “Here Dad, read this”, and for him to read it and for me to not cringe. It’s taken me years to even try and get my parents involved with my art, and I’m sorry to say that I was afraid that they’d dismiss it as waste of time. But they, suprisingly after the usual talk of “don’t let this get in the way of your studies young lady” etc, actually got on board, expressing genuine interest and my Dad even bouncing ideas around with me as we sat in the kitchen.
I still owe him that story.
But still, here we go. I have my trusty guide book, an A4 hard backed notebook and a sensible pen in my satchel, and I’m all set to explore this story. I hope you join me.