Friday, April 12, 2013

Advice from a Master

I'm finishing up Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers this week (in my opinion, it's probably THE best example of what women's fiction is:  descriptive, generational, dramatic, romantic, and incredibly well-written on every single page).  She is just a master storyteller/writer.

Well, her son, Robin Pilcher, is an accomplished novelist of....women's fiction!  I found his blog today and was interested in this entry where he mentioned his mother.  Fascinating, to peek inside the mind of a writer that I so admire.  And incredible, the thought of Robin having "access" to that mind for his own work!  Lucky man!

December 4th, 2012

I am a 62-year old writer and consider myself extremely lucky to have a mother who is still alive, let alone one who is a well-known authoress AND completely in touch with everything. My wife, Kirsty, is in France right now, helping to look after our new grandson, wee Dougie, and, myself being a pegleg, I am finding being on crutches doesn’t fit well with leading an independent life. So yesterday, Ros, who is in her late-80’s, drove down from the village to give me my lunch.

Now, I’ve been having a bit of a problem finding one of the ‘voices’ in my new book. It’s that of Violet, a 40-year old woman, who is keeping a diary in 1940, and my agent, Jenny Brown, had said of her that her ‘narrative was rather stilted and the pace too slow.’ I understood exactly what she meant but came up against a brick wall in trying to change it. So, over lunch yesterday, I gave Ros a section of the diary to read and asked her opinion.

Ros, at first, said nothing about it and then left the house to take her dogs for a walk, and I thought to myself, “Well, that was a good idea, wasn’t it?” Three quarters of an hour later, she came back, sat down in my office and said, “Sorry, I needed time to think about it. What you have to do is imagine that she’s writing a letter to a friend. That’s the way to write her diary. It’ll make it so much more personable, and it’ll bring out her character.”

Well, that was all that I needed. Ros had hit the nail on the head. Now I am finding it a joy, rather than a drudge, to re-work Violet’s diary entry.

It was the first time since writing my first book that I have asked Ros’s advice. Maybe I should take greater advantage of her living so close and do it more often…

Source here

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