Novel in the making


TAFFIN ON BALANCE is complete; final edit done; the book is what I wanted it to be. I should be extremely  satisfied. So why am I wandering about, muttering, kicking things and eyeing up the bottles in the fridge? It’s the old gremlin, Letting Go. Once TAFFIN ON BALANCE is out there it no longer belongs to me. One way or another, it will be ready for public consumption in the spring and I’ll have to start thinking about what’s next. That will do for a New Year’s Resolution.

Strange period, this. The manuscript’s out there being read. Positive things developing. TAFFIN ON BALANCE will succeed or fail depending on the publisher. My control over it is less now it’s finished than it was when I started. Have to cope with this anomaly during what is an enforced waiting period. Like I say: strange.

I normally talk to people about what I’m writing, but not in any depth. Now I’m going to try loosening up – keeping track of what goes on in my head while a book or a story takes shape. In the past I’ve only tried to explain a thought to people who show an interest, casual or professional. This time I’m hoping to reach anyone who wants to write, who writes already, or is simply curious about the process.  I don’t expect it to be easy. At the very least it will help me sort out and express ideas, step by step, as clearly as I can.

At present I’m 20,000 words into a comedy with the working title, ‘THE ROAD TO AVERSAC’. It’s about the twinning of two towns – one French, one English –  the people who try to make it happen, and the politics, rivalries and disasters that get in the way.

This is like flexing muscles for the day’s work. I have to move the story on significantly every day. I tend to write in set scenes – episodes within a chapter separated by spaces.

The story is in three parts. 1. The French town AVERSAC appoints PATRICK to find an English Village to twin with. 2. A deputation from AVERSAC visits the English town (CLODMIRE – the only one of 30 approached that actually wanted to know) to see how they all get on. 3. The reciprocal visit by CLODMIRE’s leading dignitaries to AVERSAC.

Parts 1 and 2 are already written, but the bulk is yet to come. PATRICK is trying to prepare AVERSAC for a visit from a pompous, squabbling group from CLODMIRE. He has misgivings. He didn’t want CLODMIRE in the first place for personal reasons. This is the scene I have to write today. Starting now…

On a grim, rainy day I was writing a scene that takes place in blazing sunshine. My mood was sombre; the characters were in good spirits so I let them do it. Amazing how helpful and considerate fictitious people can be. They worked a nine hour day without a word of complaint.

Now it’s a grim and rain day and I’m writing an action scene in blazing sunshine. Why can’t the weather keep up with my work?