Sunday, 26 February 2012


Whilst working on my new YA fantasy novel, I was reminded of some excellent advice I was given at a Writers Conference by Melvyn Burgess.  He recommended letting your character speak for themselves and not let them be too constrained by the plot.  I think this is what has inspired me to tackle this new novel from the first person perspective.  We did a few writing exercises to capture characters and here was the one that he really liked (I know, Melvyn Burgess saying he liked my writing style and that he thought my voice was suitable for YA fiction, an honour indeed).


Chris was busy.  She had made the tea and she had put it away.  She tried to tune them all out whilst she was washing up but it was hard.  It was getting harder every day.  Why couldn't they just be a normal family?  Everyone else had a normal family.  Chris was the Mum.  Her Mum was not.  And Dad, well he was too busy with his son to notice anything else.  World War Three, that's how it felt sometimes.  The constant battle between them and the battalion that Chris had to emply to keep them all together, running like clockwork.  How it was supposed to be.  But what if she decided to stop?  To do what she wanted for a change.  Leave.  Leave them.  Leave them to it.  Would they even notice?  Would they cease hostilities long enough to notice that the glue had gone?  Because that's what she felt like; the glue that kept everyone else together.  But what if she needed fixing; didn't she deserve fixing too?

Always being influenced.  Steered this way and that.  A boat tossed in the storm of her family.  But she wanted to be lost.  A ship wreck on some quiet island where no-one needed her to do anything or be somewhere.

So she was planning.

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