Friday, 14 February 2014

Writing - The Enigma that is Love

On this St Valentine's Day it seems appropriate to write a blog concerning the nature of relationships and how they pertain to writing stories.


Throughout the Steele novels Patrick has had relationships in among the action and travelling. The handling and development of the relationships adds richness to the body of the story and draws in those readers who are of a romantic bent. In this series of stories I have maintained the relationship between Patrick and Naomi Kobayashi and allowed it to develop slowly but because of his life style and what happened to his first girlfriend there is always the question 'will she disappear or be killed?'


Cessation is not a Steele story. It is a dystopian story with a whole new set of characters but because of the nature of the story it is much more concerned with relationships even to the point of the perpetuation of the human race. So there is an exploration of how people relate particularly under stressful situations even to the threat of the human race. This story is set at a time when normal human existence has ceased and the human race is being urged forward into a more simplistic way of life.

The way you relate love in your stories doesn't require any boundaries and as an illustration I found these real examples below. Some of them are weird to say the least.

Illustration of woman asking "Can you forgive me?"

Life hadn't been kind to Jack McKenna. His wife ran off with his best friend and left for America. His daughter was dying of influenza. He, too, was struck down with the flu. Only a few shillings stood between him and starvation.
Even when fate finally smiled on him, it was more of a mischievous grin.
In January 1892, a well-dressed woman breezed up to the workhouse in Deptford, London and asked for Jack by name. When shown to his room, the Leeds Mercury reported, she fell to her knees and begged his forgiveness. It was his estranged wife, back from California, where his ex-best friend had made a fortune in the gold-fields. He was now dead, and his wife wanted to pick up where they'd left off.
But in a plot twist worthy of Thomas Hardy, she, herself, caught influenza while nursing her husband back to health. She died of pneumonia, leaving him £62,000 in her will.

Wife auction drawing which appeared in the Illustrated Police News in 1870.

Sometimes, it just doesn't work out. The spark goes, the flame flickers, the fire dies - whichever combustible cliche you favour, love has a regrettable habit of fizzling out.
But for everyone bar the wealthiest men in Victorian Britain, divorce was out of the question. That may explain, if not excuse, why a navvy in Stacksteads, Lancashire who'd grown tired of married life, reverted to an old English custom.
He offered up his wife for auction to the highest bidder, staging the sale - as an additional insult - at the home they'd shared together.
"Despite Solomon's testimony as to a woman being more precious than rubies, and notwithstanding that the spectators were numerous, the highest offer was only 4d. [2p]," said the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent in 1879.
"The seller wanted to 'throw in' three children, but the buyer objected, and the bairns were left on hand. The wife, however, went joyfully to the home of her new owner, and seemed to be quite glad to get away from her late liege lord as he was to part with her."
And the buyer? His next-door neighbour.

As they say in Yorkshire,

There's nowt so queer as folk!'

God Bless