Researching & Scheduling

Since returning to Ireland I’ve continued to write as well as picking up the other strands of my life and doing a lot of laundry in a very damp climate!

The family of characters born at Lumb Bank continue to populate and propagate in my imagination. They are interacting and behaving in unexpected ways. At the moment the next instalments are only hand written. I was laid up in bed with a monster virus for a few days which is a good place to hunker down with a pen and paper with one’s beloved bringing you toast and boiled eggs on a tray. Some guy let off a sonic sneeze in the Departures area of Manchester Airport.

Yesterday I sat down and read the first two instalments to a friend who one could say has expert knowledge and insight into the main plot line. This is research I keeping it real. Thanks, Joanne! And yes, she thinks that it is on it’s way to being a novel, too, and is eager to find out more about this family that leapt into life when Mark Iliss brought in a watch as part of a writing exercise.

It’s important to have sounding boards, maybe even more than line editors. What I want to create on the page are credible characters working their way out of their conflicts.

But I’m realising that I’m going to have to be less lax with time management. I have other writing commitments, life commitments, friends to keep up with, a dog that needs walking (although I’ve started to ventriloquise characters aloud as I walk down the lane- that’ll get around the village soon!), a house and a partner, not to mention a garden about to to erupt into weedy fertility.

So a schedule will have to be drawn up. Otherwise, these characters will be dreamed into life but not translated to paper. I’m good at typing and re-drafting in the afternoon. The first drafts will have to find a slot either first thing or early evening before I flake.

My brother once gave me a card with the Charles Schulz character Snoppy on it with the speech bubble saying

Remember every mighty oak was once a nut that stood it’s ground.


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