I started writing my next Radwinter novel months ago – way before Christmas, in fact it might even have been at the beginning of autumn last year.
I’ve mentioned before (several times – I hope I’m not getting boring!) that the first novel in the series, Radwinter, virtually wrote itself; I had been thinking about it for a long time, a couple of years, and started it a my National Novel Writing Month challenge – the international on-line challenge to write 50,000 words in November. That first story was not intended to be a first, it was intended to be an only, telling the story of Thomas Radwinter’s search for his family through genealogical research. Finished, edited, polished and published, it seemed natural to complete his story by following his maternal line… then for him to try to find the answers about his more immediate family… and by then his life just seemed to unroll in more stories.
So by the time I began to write this present one, I had the beginnings of the plot already in my head… however, for one reason or another, after a splendid start it began to falter. I was very involved with my Dragon writing friends, getting our first anthology, The Moving Dragons Write together and published, and then it was the November novel-writing challenge again. The idea is to write your 50,000 words but of a new novel – however in recent times this has become a little blurred so people still write 50,00 words, new words, but the actual project doesn’t have to be new. However, being me, I thought I should stick to the old rule and start something completely new… which I did, and which I completed, but it took me out of my Radwinter writing routine – although I did try to soldier on with it.
Over the winter months I began to feel that although I have ideas for yet another novel in the series, this should be the last as it was becoming more of a struggle to write… or perhaps I’m just losing my writing touch? The first Weston Literary Festival loomed – I was giving two workshops and a talk, and also the Mavericks came on tour – and I was going to three gigs! I was losing track of my characters and my plot, I had st up some tricky problems for Thomas to solve – and for me to work out –
- a woman with amnesia
- a stalked museum curator
- a complicated family tree with Zeppelin raids, lunatic asylums, one-armed milkmen, and a drowning
- a school play
- relatives working as aid workers in a Lebanese refugee camp
- a tricky divorce (Thomas is a solicitor)
I have plodded on, but suddenly, over the last week, it has began to flow and my daily word count has increased, and then last night, things fell into place, things clicked, I began to see how I could ravel the unravelled threads!
Here, Thomas suddenly sees a way forward in his dilemma:
I said ‘adios’ to my nephew Luke, put down the phone and went to give Kylie who’d just come in a kiss and tell her Luke’s news. I only gave her the headlines before all the children began to compete for her attention and then left her to it and went to put the pie in the oven to brown while I cooked some vegetables and got the kettle on to make my beloved a cup of tea.
The next thing I knew I was covered with water and everyone was laughing at me. I’d put the kettle under the tap, turned it on…. And then had a sudden brilliant idea! Such a brilliant idea that I just stood as the kettle filled, overflowed and gushed all over me.
The front of my trousers was soaking, there was water all over the floor and everyone even Kylie was convulsed with laughter when Kenneil shouted I’d wet myself.
“Yes go upstairs and change immediately!” Kyle said in a mock angry voice.
“And then you can come right back downstairs and clean up all this mess!” Terri said in imitation of Kylie – it’s so unusual for Terri to speak in a big voice that it made us all laugh even more, and I squelched off to get changed… and quickly phone Luke before I forgot my brilliant idea.
Yes, Thomas had a brilliant idea… and so do I!
If you haven’t yet read Thomas’s adventures, here is a link: