Saturday, 10 May 2014

Writing a bestseller

Well, I am well and truly stuck in to writing my novel now, as some of you will be aware.

It took me a long time to take this plunge into writing original fiction. My published works in the past - books and newspaper/ magazine articles have been almost exclusively in the non-fiction sphere.

However, that's not to say I haven't written some pseudo-fiction in the past.

Back in my school days, myself and a classmate started writing plays based on the antics of our friends in the school. I call them pseudo fictional because although they featured all of our friends rather than fictional characters they were all placed in ridiculous and outlandish scenarios. I guess satire would be the genre you would have placed these in. We were lampooning our friends in the same way Spitting Image were lampooning the politicians and the royals.

These plays continued on in various shapes or forms for many years as far as the late 90s, even appearing as comedy sketches on the wall in the White Horse and Plough newsletters I used to issue.

I still have many of them, hidden away in exercise books bought from WHSmiths. Some of it, quite frankly makes me cringe now, so who knows if they will ever see the light of day again?

This new book is a whole new ball game though. I am writing a full fictional novel. So my novel shall have the standard disclaimer on the front "Any similarity to people or places blah blah blah is completely confidential" and all that.

In reality I think most writers base their works on at least some personal experience - for example someone who has lived their whole life in central London is not that likely to write a novel based on life on a remote Scottish Island so it will be no surprise I guess for me to reveal that the novel is set in a fictional South Midlands market town. I hasten to add though - it's not Bicester, any more than Candleford is Bicester in Lark Rise To Candleford.

I am working towards a summer publication and I am putting my all into making this novel a success. I am very confident in my ability as a writer and the more I write of this book, the happier I am with it. I want to use this blog to share my experiences with you along the way in the hope that this will inspire and help others of you who may one day wish to do the same.

Over the next few weeks I am going to keep you posted with how things are progressing, as well as giving you snippets and extracts from the book as it develops.

To begin with - I guess you want to know what the book is all about?

Very broadly, it's a light-hearted novel with a sci-fi twist - I hate to use the term RomCom as I've never been fond of that term though if it were made into a movie by Richard Curtis it would probably be labelled as such. It follows the story of a group of teenagers and the discovery of a time portal that transports people forward in time - at first by only a few seconds, but later by longer time periods.

There are a number of plot themes running throughout the book related to all of this -comedy, romance (that's the RomCom again) and more serious issues - what happens when someone disappears for hours or days at a time?

Characterisation is one of my strong points in writing, and I have developed around ten main characters for the book, all of whom I can picture as clearly as if they were standing in the room with me right now. One of the most rewarding things about writing (and reading too) is when the characters come alive in your head and to me, they, and all of this seems incredibly real. To say I have completely immersed into the world of this book would be an understatement. I am living and breathing it right now, and feeling every character's every though and emotion. Perhaps it is like this for all writers, perhaps not.

The title of this blog entry is "writing a bestseller" which may seem egotistical and over optimistic but I'm determined, dedicated and driven by an overwhelming desire to succeed, and I see no reason to sell myself short. The truth of the matter is, just as "faint heart never won fair lady", the fear of failure or rejection is not a reason to not pursue ones dreams.

I could never be one of those people who looks back on their life regretting the things they didn't do.

More soon.

Jason xx

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