Much asked questions;-
But I seem to do most of my brain-storming in public places, particularly when I’m travelling, out and about, and people watching. Folk don’t know that I’m watching them of course, I do it discreetly, but characters and people’s behaviour fascinates me. That’s why it’s always so important to have a note book with me and why I love to travel alone. I have spent many hours jotting on a flight to Spain, which has become a regular occurrence for me. Who’s the lucky one? And you can do lots of character building on a 10 hour flight to Mexico. That said: sitting in a quiet café bar by the sea on the Costa Calida, sipping vino tinto, or walking in the Yorkshire Dales and taking time out for tea and cake, are inspiring locations. There the peace and tranquillity bring about the opportunity to meditate on those story lines, a must from my usually, very busy and hectic life.
Once my ideas are on paper, writing becomes somewhat of a solitary and in some ways lonely pursuit, as I often disappear to my Spanish hideaway, which feels like a sacred space. There I seriously write and, strangely I do more between the hours of 8pm to 3am. Don’t ask me why, that’s just how it works for me. My Spanish retreat is an absolute privilege and I never take it for granted, just enjoy it whilst it lasts.
I know that some writers/authors start at the beginning and although their work will need lots of refining and editing, it just rolls off the pen, beginning to end. That doesn’t happen with me as I seem to build layer upon layer, and can have chapters dotted about all over until I find the right links to merge it all together. What I’m saying is that I may write something which I know is going to go much further on in the book, or I have no idea where it will fit when I write it, but knowing it is a thread that I want to develop, it will have its place somewhere. There’s no beginning to end for me, more like a jigsaw with the main pieces having been laid the rest just comes together spasmodically. Am I making sense?
Because the Chavos stories are fiction based on fact I also have to do lots of research to make the stories real. In the first 2 Chavos novels most of the things I have experienced so I can talk about the characters and situations with real emotion.
Another example is that in one of my future books, some of the characters go to Oaxaca. I am therefore planning a trip there sometime in the next 12 months. The rich Mexican kid who comes to boarding school in North Yorkshire is an easy one for me. Yes, I’m a Yorkie and proud of it.
I am learning that writing isn’t something that you can always plan, unless of course you are editing and that’s quite different. I understand the meaning of writer’s block and you can’t just make it happen, especially if you’re tired or distracted. I have been known to wake up in the night with a thought and have to write it down immediately because if I take the view that I’m too tired and can’t be bothered, the chances are I will have forgotten it the next day.
So, I’ve continued to visit Mexico City many times since that first trip and thus having been so inspired continue to write.
Tell you more in the next blog.
Have a nice day