The Novel: More Than Two-Thirds Of The Way Through

The struggle with writer’s block has paid off and I’ve now reached sixty thousand words of my novel, a psychological thriller set in the north of England. Central character Alan is  investigating something that happened nine years ago, an event he doesn’t fully remember…

 I continue on at the railway bridge, across the t-junction and down a hilly tree-lined road, scanning the buildings and the side avenues in the hope of answers. Brief flashes come to mind, but none exact, only that I drove down this hilly road in the rain in search of a hoover store for an important meeting that I’d arranged back in London. I felt flat as I drove that other time, the aftertaste of tea from Kaz Bradshaw’s cafe fresh in my mouth. The days when I still added milk to hot drinks. I drove past an RC church with a crucifix. The church is still there, about two-thirds of the way down the leafy road. Nothing against church buildings, but this is freaky.

I reach the bottom of the hill and another set of lights and a familiar tower-like building that reminds me of bells and the rhyme about the oranges and lemons. Row of shops, gastronomical pub, garage, an island with pylon wires overhead. Then, I see it on the other side of the island.


The Novel: Making Progress

A brief excerpt from my second novel, a psychological thriller.  Central character Alan has recently received information leading him to investigate an incident he doesn’t fully remember:

I didn’t come to this part of the neighbourhood last week, but straightaway I recognise the railway bridge opposite a snooker hall that has since shut. It’s the same bridge with railings on both side and a steep incline up to the ticket office; and also, the railway bridge I dreamt about at the weekend Nine years ago, I stopped the car on the other side of the bridge and checked my A-Z. I got out of the overheated car, stepping into wind and rain, but I don’t know where I went afterwards.

I drive under the bridge, past a concrete walkway with murals painted on the wall, and slow the car. This is it, the walkway flanked by the bridge wall and hedges. No benches, just strips of light that come on at night. This is where I stopped the car to look at the map the other time. The tall hedges conceal the remainder of the pathway from sight. In the distance, high rise flats dominate the landscape, spectral in the cloudy weather. The high rise flats I remember from the other time, although they seemed much dirtier then. The pathway didn’t lead to the flats. An industrial complex on the other side prevented direct access, forcing me to go round via a maze of turnings.The maze is still there, along with an old brewery on a corner.

Caught In Traffic (Not Literally)

I haven’t posted for about a week. I’ve been so busy with the novel, a psychological thriller set in the north of England.  It seems to be going well.  The writer’s block appears to have gone, although I’m still stuck in the middle section, like a driver caught up in a traffic jam.  I think it’s a case of getting on with the story, allowing  it to unfold.