A New Season

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Writing
The gorgeous ornamental cherry blossoms in my garden today herald the first suggestion that Spring is on its way.

The gorgeous ornamental cherry blossoms in my garden today herald the first suggestion that Spring is on its way.

Today I stopped myself for a brief moment just to appreciate the first hint of Spring.  The roses I pruned in late June have started to show new growth and the two cherry trees I have in my garden are now in flower.  I could not stop thinking about the new season in my life that I am entering. My first book, Magpie Game is not quite ready for submitting but it has come to a standstill while I send it out to beta-readers.  I have started to think about the next story that I want to tell.  My next writing project.

I’ve had the idea simmering for a while now, but it has only just been recently that I have been able to take the time out to start researching and planning.  I’m really excited about this project, for a number of reasons, but mostly because I feel that I am moving into this book with a good deal more wisdom than I did with my first.  My writing friends will appreciate what a massive learning curve a first book is. For me, it often felt like I did things the long way and sometimes the difficult way.  This time around I am excited to put into practice everything I learned in my first major writing encounter.

This week I’ve been thinking a bit about the importance of atmosphere.  I’m not talking necessarily about setting, more about the feel I hope to create in my writing.  The setting for Magpie Game was the suburbs of metropolitan Adelaide. I frequently mention the hills that border the city on one side with reference to the line of the sea on the other.  However, in terms of atmosphere the book is quite dark.  The majority of the narrative takes place during winter.  It is an uncharacteristically wet winter.  This started subconsciously at first but became quite deliberate when I realised that I wanted to mirror the overall darkness of the book’s content.  My next book will explore the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder.  My setting will have moments of aridness.  I want it to echo the absence of words able to adequately describe the horrors my main protagonist has experienced.  In fact, he will, for the most part refuse to speak of his experiences, yet, like many sufferers of PTSD, his mind forces him to relive the experience nightly.

Magpie Game is a cold, wet little book.  I intend to let the sun shine into my next; but it won’t be warm and enveloping; because I plan for it to be bright, uncompromising and blisteringly hot.

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