I’m three-quarters of the way through a novel-writing boot camp – a course run by Writers Victoria in Melbourne. The tutor is Shane Maloney, who is excellent at keeping us focused and giving us lots of useful insights. We’re a mixed bunch of pupils, some in the early stages of plotting a novel, some much further down the track. The subject matter we cover between us is very varied, but the basic principles of knocking a book into shape are relevant to all of us, and I think everyone is finding the course useful and inspiring. Three Wednesday afternoons down, one to go. I’m working on resurrecting a crime novel set in the Channel Islands that I came close to getting published in the UK years ago, with a view to trying again now I’m in Australia. I’ve posted a sample from it on the new extracts page I’ve just started.
After a couple of months of not writing very much at all, I suddenly find myself working on a crime novel, polishing some new poems, and plotting a new idea for a short story – much like the weather, which has now broken after a long dry spell. Extended metaphor there, I think, about long-awaited rains bringing forth blossom and fruit – but I’ll leave someone else to turn it into a corny poem!