This past summer I applied and was accepted to the Golden Egg Academy, a UK based writing programme which seeks to foster the talents of both children and young adult writers. The programme was set up by Barry Cunningham’s publishing company (as in the editor of Harry Potter and The Maze Runner) Chicken House and only a small number of applicants are accepted into the programme. I was thrilled when four days after sending in my application I received a letter of acceptance from one of the editors. Since then, I’ve been going to various workshops and retreats as well as attempting to get acquainted with the programme.
It’s a very curious thing, working on a novel. Broken People has changed shape so many time just within the past two months of me working on it here and there. This past weekend in Frome I spent really working hard to find the voice of the narrator, Aubrey, who is getting ready to go university despite having cerebral palsy. When you work on a novel, even when you are a massive plotter and planner, as I am, it really is, as Richard Bausch said to me, ‘night driving.’ You can only see so far- the next hundred words or so, and you have to have faith that those hundred words will lead to the next hundred words, and so forth and so on. So many twists and turns have happened to the novel already that you can’t on too tightly. Otherwise you strangle your story.
Somehow, in the middle of this, I’m going to create a 65,000 word novel and by only seeing a little bit at a time. Even though I have spent the past three years studying achievement and know that everything gets done little by little, it still seems impossible that writing 500 or 800 words a day will lead to the full and rich story that I have always imagined writing. To any more would be exhausting for me, the experiences of the book are so raw, and the voice is so vulnerable, that it can be quite a lot of heartache to write. So- I’m stepping out in blind faith once again, believing that slow and steady, steady and slow is the way to go, and trying to balance myself between artistic integrity and productivity. Stay tuned, I’m sure it will be exciting, regardless.
Don’t forget, it’s a brave new world out there. Every day.
The Period Route
March 24, 2017
Subtitles? Transcriptions? The debate with disability and media