Well, I’ve done it. I’ve packed in the day job. Today is my first day as a full time writer. Shit. Scary. Especially when you read stuff like this.
So what have I done today? I got down to serious work on my next Porfiry Petrovich novel. I’ve been making character notes, on index cards of course. And trying to tease out and develop the various story strands.
I’ve also tried to do some work on something I call ‘the visual structure’ of the book. I find it quite interesting to approach writing in this way, to think of visual themes for the book, and possibly to imagine the story as a progression, or journey, from one predominant visual motif to another. To put it in its simplest terms, from darkness to light. Or, in the case of the book I’m working on, from mist to clarity.
It’s all very sketchy and just now I’m not sure where it’s going, if indeed it will go anywhere. But I do feel it’s important to give the book some texture and depth. I hope so anyhow.
It’s tempting to write purely rationally, especially when you’re writing crime – or more specifically – detective fiction. That is to say, to pin down the plot in terms of what needs to happen, the essentials. I worry that in my own case this could make my writing too mechanical and formulaic. By approaching the construction of the story visually, as well as rationally, I’m hoping to allow space for the unexpected to occur. I hope to surprise myself, and my readers too.
That’s the theory. I’ll let you know how it works out.
The first review of A Vengeful Longing has appeared, on the book website Vulpes Libris. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer one!