Well almost 1,000! It was actually a colossal 989 who supported my recent Danger in Mellin Cove kindle promotion. And I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone, particularly all the lovely people (you now who you are) who tweeted and retweeted it. Keeping fingers crossed now that some of you will find the time to review it.
I was so made up at this success that I kindled another little book, Captured in Cornwall. It’s actually an 8,000 word long / short story featuring the Loveday Ross / Det Insp Sam Kitto duo who are the main characters in the crime series I’m currently working on. (More later about this.)
For me the setting, like this Highland harbour, is crucial when I begin a new novel. It’s where all my stories start. Old, historic buildings have atmosphere and thanks to our National Trust membership, we visit many. But I can get equally strong vibes from a Highland loch, a buzzing town/city centre, or a Cornish fishing village.
My writer’s antenna immediately kicks in and I’m imagining what kind of dramatic things could happen here … and to whom? I’m already working out how it can all go wrong for my characters and how they will deal with it. It’s just the nucleus of a plot, of course, but it’s a start.
It also helps to take loads of pictures like the ones I’ve posted here.
Other writers will have their own methods for getting started, but for me it’s that sense of place that triggers it every time. And since National Parks Week starts tomorrow, featuring some of the most awesome places in our land, there will be no excuse for not indulging in some more inspiring away days.
When I first started to write fiction I used to worry that I was going about it all the wrong way. I mean surely the story should start with characters? Isn’t this what experienced writers advised?
But then I saw a TV interview with PD James where she revealed that it was places that first inspired her crime novels. Yay! If that was good enough for the queen of crime fiction, then it was fine by me.
I’m not suggesting that setting is more important than great characters or a page-turning plot, of course it isn’t, but a well-considered, believable setting is surely the background that pins it all together.
What do you think?