DEVELOPMENT

I feel like a project some big developer has saved for his/her last meal. They have filed away plans, ideas, and planks of wood, bags of concrete and sand, steel girders, rolls of wire, insulation tape, roof tile and floorboards. Everything but the actual bricks, windows and doors – now, it seems, they’ve fallen off the back of some wagon and I’m all ready to go.

You know that old saying…that things happen for a reason? Well, the obsessions I’ve suffered over the last few years have suddenly made sense. All those series, one book after another in fantasy realms; the many tarot packs; the postcards from around the world – they were research. Yes, I know I was enjoying myself, engulfed in those worlds, but it was work of a sort.

The older I get the more I say No to the things I don’t want to do, which has had the effect of tightening the focus of my attention/focus/obsessions. It is only now that I realise that quite a lot of time has passed and I am choosing not to read any more Anita Shreve books, or any women’s fiction really; I am staying in the realms of fantasy so perhaps that’s where I should be setting my stories.

I have begun writing many novels but only ever completed one, and even that still needs an ending. The thing is they are only skeletons; there is no fat or skin on these creations. I could never get the sense of place so there was nothing to ground me and hold my complete attention…so I always skipped out and started a new project, or slipped back to the poetry. A couple of weeks ago, while reading a book, I was suddenly gripped with the idea to build my own city – so gripped that I put the book down and sat down at the table with paper and pen to draw it. Now, it is a huge city plan on a poster, all ready to be pinned on my wall and a section of it chosen for the setting of the WIP.

During this period, the character that appears in the opening section of the WIP has a new history, a better explanation for some of his behaviour and a more believable challenge. I am writing fantasy on top of ordinary people, but I know I don’t want to live in the dark ages so this will be modern and urban. I’d love to live in a cave but I’d want a laptop, internet wifi and a mobile phone! Time to reduce my reading to Urban Fantasy – must go find some.

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