Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pause for thought

Word Count: 10,601

So I've passed the 10,000 mark with Book5 Version A, and have decided it might be time to take stock (before my fingers fall off). This feels a bit wimpy, as if I keep this work-rate up I could finish the novel by April, but I do feel I need to do more to develop my central character, her 'world-view' if you like. As with my previous books, my central character narrates in the first person and in this idea, I want to make her a psychology graduate, whose quirky observations about her friends and family are informed by psychological theory. Don't worry, she's not going to go off on a limb about Piaget for pages and pages, but as her job involves understanding people very well, I thought it would be fun to have her try to second-guess the reasons why people act as they do: sometimes, of course, she will get it spectacularly wrong.

Trouble is, I am NOT a psychology graduate, so I need to do some research. I have a strange attitude towards research: I spent two years of my life as a TV researcher, and another decade researching stories I was producing or reporting on, but funnily enough with fiction I don't like researching much at all. Perhaps this is because I know how I can get fixated on tiny details (inner workings of a jet engine, the techniques of sushi making etc) which could get in the way of a story.

Then again, maybe I am just too lazy to be *rsed to do research now I don't have to...

I am getting round this by reading lots of pop psychology books. I've also signed up to do an OU Psychology module, but actually I can't see myself having time to do it this year, so may have to postpone.

I also met my lovely editor for a great lunch at Neal Street Restaurant on Tuesday (the gnocchi are to die for) and raised the idea of writing more than one book a year. I know that the Orion list is very packed, and as with all publishers, they plan years in advance, but we had a few ideas about how it could work, so watch this space.

Oh, and Brown Owl is number 40 in The Bookseller's Top 50. Number 40 feels jolly thrilling, like being in the Top 40 on Top of the Pops or something. I can imagine Peter Powell announcing the title. Sorry. I've been going through lots of my old teenage letters and diaries so am in an adolescent frame of mind. The best thing was finding a list of albums that my friend owned, with a view to asking her to tape them for me, and in return I had to tape Heart by Heart for her. Wasn't life simpler then? (I am an old Fogey, official!)


Blogger Jessica said...

I'm doing a psychology degree with the OU, do shout if there's anything I can help with.

4:09 pm  
Blogger Hera said...

Don't worry about it. I am a psychology graduate nonetheless all my quirky observations come from pop psychology. Have fun.

5:18 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

You were number 16 today in one WhSmith in Euston and number 14 in the other. Go girl!

8:28 pm  

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