Last night, I took part in one of the writing ‘masterclasses’ that the Kate Nash Literary Agency is putting on for us Bookcamp Mentees. This one was about character and very good it was too (courtesy of Kate Nash author Jane Lovering).
One of the questions Jane was asked (not by me, I hasten to add: I was lurking. Wet hair from the shower and no make-up. Nope, I wasn’t going to put that head above the parapet!).. where was I? Oh yes, one of the questions Jane was asked, was about getting the voices of your characters right, when you’re writing historical fiction.
Jane’s advice was to go to original source material for inspiration. Specifically: letters!
Well, a little warm glow and a feeling of smugness swept over me (or perhaps that was the rosé wine kicking in) BECAUSE, through a recent serendipitous meeting – and socially-distanced chat – with a woman in the village that I know through dog-walking, I have a stack of letters, written by her mother, to her father, during WW2, when they were courting (and he was in the RAF). Full of lovely dialogue from the time that I’m writing about. Perfect!
My (new! NEW!) laptop died again this morning and my OH has spent half the day trying to fix it which put him in a VERY bad mood (and he’s never in a bad mood). Finally, it’s kind-of-fixed but I now have no sound or microphone. First World problems, I know but still very annoying.
Serves me right for gloating about my wonderful soup-maker: today I made a DISGUSTING soup.
I couldn’t access t’internet, due to computer failure, so I kind of made it up… it was supposed to be ‘Carrot & Apple’ but I think I added too many apples (one would have been enough) and.. this is the terrible bit… the only onion we had was a red onion, which I thought would be fine but of course, as you know (I can see you, shaking your head), red onions are quite sweet.. so, what with the extra apple and the sweet onion, I felt like I was eating a bowlful of apricot jam. I kid you not. Horrible. Thrown away. The only disaster (so far) in the soup maker but a shock to the system, I can tell you.
Tomorrow I have my on-line meeting with my agent to discuss The First Draft. I am feeling horribly nervous…! I will report back, anon.