I can see it will take some getting used to; I’ve only driven a Mac on a handful of occasions in the past 25 years, and not at all in the last five.
I also bought a copy of “The Reckoning: the Murder of Christopher Marlowe” by Charles Nicholl; a bit of Elizabethan intrigue should set the old imagination racing!
As it happens, we were planning a trip into Suffolk this weekend, so I have arranged to include a trip to Kentwell, a Tudor manorhouse with lots of reconstructed interiors and farm buildings of the period. This will give me at least one potential location; if I exploit the “crucible” concept fully, it might even be my only location!
I’ve been giving some thought to the question of originality. Publishers and agents say that they are looking principally for originality, but in fantasy at any rate, there seems to be a lot of pretty unoriginal stuff being published: epic multi-volume tales of action and adventure still dominate the bookshops’ shelves. Some highly original books do make it into print and get glowing reviews, but whether they successfully launch the writer’s career is another matter. I think it more likely that what editors and agents are really looking for is just a fresh spin on the familiar; something that will appeal to the hordes without being a tired re-tread.
Although not part of the “30 Days” method, I have decided to use the preparation period to do some background work. The method allots only two days to developing an outline before embarking upon the actual writing; two days to brainstorm characters, plot and setting! This might be OK for contemporary fiction, but a fantasy novel needs a lot more preparatory work. It would be very easy to churn out a novel set in a generic quasi-medieval world, but that’s not likely to catch the eye of editors and agents.
I have also booked two weeks off work in October, as I suspect I will find the intensive schedule both tiring and a distraction during work hours. Besides, I have to use up some of my remaining holiday allowance before Christmas or lose it entirely.
It’s a sobering thought that, after nearly thirty years of writing, I still haven’t finished and submitted a novel, never mind having had any fiction published. I don’t relish the prospect of spending another thirty years being equally unproductive – drastic action is needed!