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Getting started on a novel ~ by Martine Cullum

Well, I guess it is different for every writer, but for me, my process usually begins something like this little experience.

Last week my sister and I visited the same Cornish holiday destinations that we had on many occasions as children. Not much had changed and the pasties and cream teas were just as delicious as I remembered. (I had to try them all just to be sure, you understand).

Anyhow, one of the destinations was Tintagel, and I was particularly keen to see the old Post Office which was exactly as I remembered it. It was a wonderful day, reliving magical memories and we took lots of photographs. Nothing too creative going on there, you might think, but a seed had been planted and it needed to bubble away a little at the back of my mind.

I thought no more of it until a friend commented on this picture on my Facebook page, that’s all it took. The sparks started flying in my head like lightning strikes from the Tesla Coil machine in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Connections started being made between all sorts of unrelated subjects. Then the questions came. They started quite normally. Wouldn’t it be a lovely place to live? Who would live there? An older person, (well, not much older as I’m getting on myself). She’d be surrounded by books, and cats, yes lots of cats.

Then the more detailed questions. Would she live alone? Yes of course. Would she be liked in the village? Why, or why not? What might she have done to upset or please the community? How does she feel about that? Then back to those unrelated subjects (excuse me for not sharing those, but they’ll be in the book… probably). This has all happened in a matter of seconds.

Quick, I tell myself, grab a pen and get some of this down on paper before I forget it. Before I know it, I have pages of diagrams, notes and sketches and enough material for a new book series and its only taken about an hour.

Of course, it will take many weeks of hard work to craft these pages into something beautiful, but the spark it is there and pinned down ready to work on… when I’m ready. For now, I think I’ll have a cup of tea, and maybe a biscuit.

I really wanted to share this, in case any of you wanted to have a go at writing a book. It’s an extremely therapeutic experience, though as I have already mentioned, it is hard work at times. I also have my own little recipe by the way to keep me on track.

Well, if you see something that moves you, just let it bubble away for a while and allow the magic to come out when the time is right. And if you would like to know more about where to start writing your own book, please do get in touch, you know where to find me.

Kind Regards

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