I am trying to use the blog today to piece together ideas; no I won’t be sharing any for the novel I am writing – it’s not because I think you will manhandle each one of them against their will into a derivative piece of work that you want to get published (by the way, any ideas borrowed or stolen are derivative unless the writer really has a passion for the same subject) but because my ideas are still very raw. If you need to get some ideas for your work join the idea of the month club or visit this really neat shop in Edinburgh that stocks ideas on their burgeoning shelves. It’s great. You get a loyalty card and for every ten ideas you buy you get one free and a bucket of duck wings. You can see a young Hilary Mantel in the photo below at the shop where she was short changed on a Tudor sex fantasy.
At the back you can see an even younger Neil Gaiman making a quick getaway as he’s been spotted in another idea shop rather than the one he normally visits; he’s stuffed X-rated Mills & Boon plots down his jacket. If you have not guessed my tongue is firmly wedged in my cheek then you don’t know me. No offence was offered to either of these wonderful writers, who in their own ways have mocked the idea of thinking that inspiration strikes or can be found in ten easy installments. Inspiration does strike if you do all the hard work. Then it’s not really about being hit by lightning but more about the pieces fitting together in a way that you could easily believe involves the muse popping in with a bottle of something and a saucy look on their face. The reality is that writing a novel, for me, is a slow burner. It’s also about research. Lots of research. Lots of reading. Lots of lost moments. Lots of drilling down into the why. I soak up ideas and at the moment I am trying to wring them out because I need to say something about the present global situation we are in. I am not going to preach about climate change or population but I am angry about them both. Hell, I am beyond anger, I am pissed off that people vote for selfishness and then hold up their hands in outrage when the politicians they voted for turn out to be total bastards. It is a form of madness. I’m angry that people think clever involves a certificate that you lose in a house move. I want to take that anger and slam into my writing. It won’t be an easy book because I want to a multiple narrative but how many voices do you select? There is no point in me talking about the rich. Hell, if you look at most climate change novels the rich are isolated, frivolous, fiddling as the world burns but frankly we’re all doing that. The real people who get hurt are the ones at the bottom of the pile. That’s the real story and pain but if I took a photo, a high street teeming with life, whose story should be told? This is the problem with mosaic novels, some stories aren’t that interesting and some stories are just thinly veiled thrillers, which by the way really annoys me about climate change novels. The people are forgotten and it’s all about the plot in a world that has lost the plot.