Hello! Winter has come. Well, actually it’s autumn – basically not Summer, though. Although we have had a bit of an Indian Summer in the UK.
2. For the Misfortune fans
The characters are taking over. Thank goodness for writing.
3. For the Daydreamers
The words people use, in fiction and in real life, reveal a lot about them.
“All speech acts are goal-oriented.” That phrase lodged itself in my brain during a linguistics lecture I once attended.
Every thing we say, each word selection, is ultimately to achieve some kind of goal. I find this idea useful when writing dialogue.
When a fictional character speaks there is a pool of alternative words they can to dip into to achieve a particular effect. Let’s say they are talking about children. They could choose use a variety of descriptions – for instance kid, brat, squirt, rugrat, tyke, urchin or munchkin. Each choice has a different psychological effect – brat, for instance, has negative connotations – it implies a child is badly behaved.
The selection of the words is being used to achieve a desired effect, or goal. Of course a character can choose to speak in a responsible, measured, neutral way. But if they are angry, sad or manipulative there are plenty of charged words to scoop out of the vocabulary pool.
4. Wishing you well this October. Thanks for reading.
I’ve recently been enjoying the therapeutic joys of wild swimming in the sea. I purchased a waterproof phone cover and took a few pictures in the water, including the one above.
In the “Haunts of the Black Masseur” Charles Sprawson’s famous study of swimming, he describes how, as a child, he “began to form a vague conception of the swimmer as someone rather remote and divorced from every-day life, devoted to a mode of exercise where most of the body remains submerged and self-absorbed. It appealed to the introverted and eccentric, individualists involved in a mental world of their own.”
2. For the Misfortunate.
Amazon recently introduced dedicated pages for book series. So, Cape Misfortune is officially a series! “Cape Misfortune” and “Cape Misfortune II Agata’s Story” are “standalone” so you can read them in any order. Paperback and Kindle versions are available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08ZYSNKMY
Meanwhile I’m halfway through the third book, provisionally called “The Lost Gods of Misfortune.”
3. For the Daydreamers.
It’s probably not an Internet-breaking observation that characters can sometimes seem to take on a life of their own when you are writing fiction. Writing day-in and day- out for months some characters start to become almost as “real” to you as anyone else in your life.
Obviously these imagined creatures don’t have some kind of actual supernatural life. But it is weird sometimes when they detach themselves and become autonomous!
There are many authors who say it never happens to them but in my experience characters can surprise – sometimes having enough imaginative life to break out and rewrite the plot.
Which may not be a bad thing. Perhaps a well-drawn character makes us follow the cadences and rhythms of real life – rather than an author trying to squeeze characters into a high concept plot.
I say, encourage them.
4. Upcoming events.
There’s still a few weeks of summer left. Hoping they are good ones for you.
Hello! Tomorrow (March 20th) is the start of astronomical Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. Longer days are on the horizon.
For the Misfortune fans
“Cape Misfortune II Agata’s Story” has been out for a month, and people have been positive. My fellow author Henry Mitchell was kind enough to say on his blog, “I read Henry Anderson’s new novel, Cape Misfortune II, in a day. I can’t remember the last time I did that. It was hard to put down, even for dinner. I skipped dessert.”
Henry Anderson’s ‘Agata’s Story’, the second novel in the ‘Cape Misfortune’ series, was published by Solstice on 15th January 2021. This is the spellbinding tale of a celebrated law enforcement officer in the wild coastline town of Cape Misfortune. Aptly named, so it seems, for Sergeant Agata Dollar is experiencing bizarre paranormal events!
Naturally I have to ask you some questions about your writing, Henry. Firstly, what led you into journalism and what areas were you involved in?