Sunday, 18 December 2011

Work in Progress

I can't write directly on to the computer. Whenever I try, my sentences come out very short and stilted. It's probably because I'm not a good enough typist to be able to type without thinking about it. So everything goes down on paper in longhand first, and has to be typed up later. There have been times when I've carefully tidied my pages awaiting typing away in a safe place and then not been able to find them...

So the novel is under way, but I have no idea of the word count so far, because it's not typed yet. It's not an enormous number, though. I've spent too much time getting sidetracked into different areas of internet research.

I think that something which I'd intended to be an element of the mystery might not now fit in with the plot as it's developed. But that doesn't matter, it was only a side issue.

At the moment, it looks as if this will be written from a single point of view, that of the central female character.  That wasn't a conscious decision, but there's no other character demanding a voice.

In looking for names for characters I've come across some real life names that are almost too improbable to be used in fiction. All these people lived in England in 1881.

Mercy Bright was an eighteen year old servant. She worked for a family that had six sons living at home; I hope the boys were made to tidy up after themselves and not leave it all to her.

Mortimer Tipple was a jeweller, and only 27, but he was an inmate of Holborn Union Workhouse. He is not said to have had any disability; I hope he didn't end up in the workhouse through trying to live up to his surname.

There were several girls and women called Rose Raven. The majority were children, probably because the name Rose was only just becoming popular. One of them must have grown up to be the heroine of a romantic novel.


  1. You could always try a digital pen to write your books. You use it like a normal pen but a little device attached to it records what you write and can then be plugged into the computer to convert it to typing. A little preliminary word is necessary to get it to recognise your handwriting (rather as in the case of voice recognition technology) but it could save a lot of time!

  2. Yes, I've seen those. They're a bit pricy - and my handwriting tends to degenerate into a scrawl when I'm in full flow, with lots of abbreviations, so I'm not sure how well it would work for me.

    Up to chapter two now, with a lot of gaps where I need to go back and flesh things out. I ought to get some of it typed up, but I've been on this afternoon, to find out what my character would see as she passed along a particular street. How did we manage before the internet?