Wednesday 14 December 2016

Using the Experience

Atmosphere and emotion.
As you know, I don't put real people in my books, or situations lifted from real life, if I can help it. Writing romantic suspense, a lot of it has to come out of my imagination, so it's not a problem. What I do use is ideas and experiences.

Like the very long lunch a week or so ago with some friends, in which we discussed kidnapping someone. Yes - we're writers, this is what lunch is all about. The idea sort of stuck, and by the time I was on the train home I had an idea for a novella - I hope it will be a novella - that begins with a kidnapping. The hero is the chosen victim, which is going to be fun, if rather uncomfortable for him. I've actually already written the first bit, and it was very enjoyable. So, there you go. I'm weird. But you know that. 

And last week I was at the Millennium Centre for a matinee of Kiss Me Kate - Cole Porter's fabulous music, which I have been humming ever since, especially the rather heartbreaking love song, So In Love. And that's going in a book, too, as I realised that it spoke to me about the hero of the full length romantic suspense that I'm hoping to get to next year. He's a musician with a baby grand piano in his hall - it's a big hall -  and of course he ends up playing the song and thinking of the heroine. Which is me being sentimental, not weird. Maybe one day I'll get to use I Hate Men too, but that's for another day and another story!

So - it's writing what you know, but it's not about simply lifting something out of real life, at least, not for me. Overheard conversations give me rhythms of speech, not the words, songs give the emotions - and that's a key. How does it make you feel?

For me, that's what writing is about.

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