Friday, 11 October 2013

Dnieper River

I have decided to use the Dnieper River for the location of my remote castle in my next novel, the sequel to The Belgae Torc. The river flows through Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and is within the required distance from The Sea of Azov. I will probably have to use artistic licence to come up with a suitably remote area along the river with an old and crumbling castle, but with a little more research I'm sure something will turn up. Again, if anyone has any local knowledge of this part of the world I would be pleased to hear from you.

The Sequel in The Torc Trilogy

Another 1000 words written last night taking my total to 82,000. The plot is begining to thicken with my characters, Jack and Orlagh, getting me into all kinds of trouble. The finished book should contain about 120,000 words which I have to have finished ideally by the end of November. The editing and publishing process can take up to six months, so to have an Easter book launch I'm sailing a little close to the wind, so to speak. I'm having all kinds of ideas for the third book in the trilogy. I know how it all ends ultimately, I just have to find another 120,000 words to complete the set.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Local knowledge sought

The sequel to my novel 'The Belgae Torc' is partly set in the Ukraine. Can anyone help me? I'm looking for a remote location in the Ukraine preferably with an abandoned castle or fortification, near to a river and about 200km from the coast of the Sea of Azov. I have been studying a map and selecting likely looking places but some local help and guidance would be much appreciated.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

To plan or not to plan, that is the question.

I have just read an interesting interview with Lynn Cullen about her book Mrs Poe. I'm so grateful to Kimberly Eve who posted it on her blog. It seems that Lynn did not plan her novel in minute detail before writing it. Occasionally I teach creative writing and have a lesson on planning. I look at various planning techniques and how writers use different methods to help them achieve their goals. I on the other hand rarely plan much at all. I do of course research topics that I'm writing about thoroughly, but when I create a character, that person usually takes over and leads me into all sorts of trouble. It is sometimes a struggle to get back on track and continue around my intended plot. Quite often the story will develop in a way that astounds me, often leaving me thinking, 'I didn't see that coming, now how do I get out of this?' Maria, my wife, constantly asks me how can I work in such a hap hazard way. I find it works for me, but very often when speaking to writers I realise how rigid they are in sticking to their carefully thought out plan. That's not the way I work I'm afraid, and it works for me, and so it seems Lynn Cullen.