Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year's Day

New Year, new resolutions? It’s exactly one year ago today since I started Chapter One of the fourth Lake District Mystery, provisionally entitled The Serpent Pool. It seemed like a nice idea to begin the new year with a new book, though with hindsight I think I began before the story was really clear in my mind, so that quite a lot of re-writing has been required. A lesson for me for the future. All told, I’m afraid the book made rather slow progress during 2008, with the result that there’s still quite a lot to do on it – so I suppose my first writing resolution ought to be to get it finished and in the best shape possible!

Achieving that may well take up a large chunk of my personal quota of resolve. But of course I do have other aims and ambitions for the year ahead. One that I will share is that I plan to include in this blog a few more comments about the actual writing process that I hope are of interest, both to intending writers and others interested in the craft. I meant to do this in 2008, but at times I got carried away with recording thoughts on the events of an unusually hectic year. Different visitors indicate that they like different types of post, so apart from more about writing itself, I’ll probably continue in 2009 with the mixture roughly as before.

One resolution I ought to make is not to buy any more books. The reason is simple. I have huge piles of them here, waiting to be read – enough to keep me going for years Many of them are books I’m really keen to devour, including a number written by very good friends, but lack of time is the problem. However, I suspect there is just no way I’ll be able to resist the urge to add more titles to the collection. And from time to time I’ll flag up interesting-looking books here, in the hope that you will give me a few clues as to whether they should zoom to the top of that to-be-read heap.

Meanwhile, if you want to check out an excellent crime magazine in Mystery Scene, here’s a message from editor in chief Kate Stine:

‘We're offering free sample issues of Mystery Scene at our website. Would you please help spread the word?

All anybody has to do is go to and request one, no obligation.

This offer is good until I can walk through our office again.’


Jilly said...

I'm glad it's not just me who has piles of unread books! I reckon I've got enough to last me about 18 months - not including ones I re-read regularly.
I'd certainly be interested to read more about the writing process in the future - I always find it fascinating.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Happy New Year, Martin. And thanks for the many reviews you have done for FFB this year.

Scott D. Parker said...

I guess it's "nice" to read that even published authors have trouble with novels, as did I in 2008. And I, for one, would be quite interested in reading about your writing process. I am always learning.

Have a Happy New Year.

Martin Edwards said...

Many thanks. 2009 has got off to a cracking start in mystery terms, by the way, with tonight's episode of Jonathan Creek. More about this tomorrow.

Kerrie said...

May your 2009 be as good as or better than 2008 Martin. Always a pleasure to read your blog, no matter what it is about.

Cornflower said...

I'd be very interested to read what you have to say about the writing process. You must have so much to put into a book - which is either made plain or obscure - and that's on top of the usual narrative demands of a novel, so while it must be challengng for you, it would be fascinating for readers to see something of how it's done.

Martin Edwards said...

Cornflower, I find that when giving talks to reading groups, I very much enjoy debating the ins and outs of story-building, and I hope for similar debate via the comments!