Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Writing - A monster in the pan

Quite an interesting beginning to the day that was serendipitous. 

A monster in the pan

Was something emerging through the milk in this pan this morning? I thought I was preparing scrambled eggs!

In all honesty, if you keep your eyes open inspiration may well come from a wide variety of sources. The imagination is an amazing facet of human life and setting it free is what writers do but we should all dive into the unknown occasionally.

The second fortuitous occurrence this morning, this was all before 09:00, was seeing an interview with author Mark Billingham.

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Mark Billingham is the author of detective books featuring Tom Thorne and I believe his 13th novel is appearing this week. He has also had some indication that the BBC intend to make a series based upon his character.
One interesting aspect of the interview touched on the fact that Mark tends to go where his character leads, although he did say that he was in charge as he did the typing. It is interesting that something I first heard from American writer Caleb Pirtle talk about, has been given credibility by the establishment in the form of the BBC.
It was also interesting that when asked if he was considering the demise of his hero, Mark replied by saying that he would stay with Thorne as long as he still had something to say. I found the guy very interesting, refreshingly honest, and an inspiration to me to continue with Steele and his adventures. The operative term being as long as Steele has something to say.

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Some of the things Mark Billingham said about the more technical aspect of writing I could imagine will have the Man/Booker worshippers tearing their flesh in horror. He said that he doesn't keep files about his lead characters life before the books, that he may get the colour of Thorne's eyes wrong in one chapter, but felt that the personality and actions were of more interest to the reader than insignificant detail.
Billingham also answered a question about research. He believes in a certain amount of research but not to go to the nth degree, because if overdone a feeling can develop that you have to lever in all of the research whether the book needs it or not.

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I would agree with Mark's attitude on research to a degree, where I would add to what he said is that if you are including something different from your usual experience in your work then research is important to understand the atmosphere of what is being brought to the work. In a sense it is still within the realm of writing from where you're at.

God Bless