Friday, 11 January 2013


I ran this morning but stopped in my tracks half way round the block at the sight of a single flash of colour that burst bright pink through the fog. It was a cherry tree and the only one in flower. Two green and yellow finches (I think) were picking at the grass at its base. They scattered on my approach into nearby trees that had the first new black buds pushed up from naked branches.

It was freezing but I didn't mind standing around to take in what nature had to offer as I got my breath back. I got that weird fleeting sense of summer around the corner from Spring. It's a smell you can't put your finger on. It isn't a scent - more of a sense that things are changing and will get better in time even though winter is not quite done with us yet.

The windmill in the nearby fields looked like this the last time we had a very heavy snow flurry which is supposed to be revisiting us again. I wonder how I'll run in that. I pondered on it all during my usual breakfast of tea, toast and cigarettes and then set off on a productive working day.

I finished the first draft of chapter three and outlined the scene for the next one. I've got my victim Jo where I want her but I need to get into the mind of her captor. He doesn't say anything in that scene. His actions speak louder. All I will say is that he doesn't rape her, he seems to have no interest in that. He hasn't shown much of himself yet. Perhaps I was in too much of a good mood to get into a degenerative mind so I left him and Jo for now to pop back to Lou's world to see what she's up to.

Chapter four sees Lou is in the office with Sharp, her obnoxious hard-nosed editor. He's more worried about the town's elite and advertisers than hard-news and he blames everyone else for falling circulation figures. He's sadistic, greedy, and cruel. He enjoys humiliating his reporters and making their lives difficult.

I've got to lead Lou into the investigation and forward into the middle of the story. The characters are galloping onwards but I'm not sure they're going anywhere so I have to rein them back in line with the plot. I'm prepared to be flexible if parts don't work for the characters as they develop, but I must ensure that they do go forward and this book has action and purpose. I must not fall into the trap of allowing just an array of characters to strut their stuff.

I'm working from the beginning on the 20,000 words I've got down so far. The devil is always in the detail but planning in scenarios that I've imagined so far doesn't always fit the tune the characters sing as they go.

The chapters and their content will change. For example, should that running girl be seen first? Perhaps that escape could come later. Most critique I've had on this book suggests the setting is the strongest feature so I might start there. Some readers like to be led to the action gently rather than taken to the heart straight away and others like to see the crime first and then how it's solved. I suppose all of this will play out as the story progresses and the time comes to look at the best way to present it.

I'll think on that a bit more when I go out on my run in the morning and then see where my writing takes me when I get back into my story.

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