Last month, I received a professional critique of my current novel in progress and I’ve done some work on the opening section. In the original story, a group of music students go to study at an old Hall in the countryside where events spiral out of control. The editorial report contained a number of suggestions, including the subject of scene setting – for instance, I have should have a more contemporary setting because an old Hall in the country doesn’t work well in Young Adult Fiction. Also, the material dealing with classical music (in particular, piano) seemed too technical and the Reader couldn’t sense the relationship between the central character and their love of music (or lack of). In the new draft, the central character has grown up in a tough area of London but has managed to avoid trouble…then, he makes a decision that has repercussions for several years.
Much of the scene setting takes place around a rundown coastal town:
The sky’s tinged with angry colours, like a bruised arm, and a gust comes straight at me from the sea, sending a shiver through me. I pass the old fairground, no longer in use, and the seafront café – basically, an egg and chips place with an ice cream sign round the front. Inside, a sprinkling of customers sit alone at tables, hunched over newspapers.
Amusement arcade. I hear the clatter of coins and the squeal of electronic beeps from the machine. Voices close by. Cigarette smoke. I spot a couple of guys in army-style trousers leaning over the railings, smoking, talking.
The army-style clothing gives him away.
He turns round. His eyes widen in surprise: what are you doing here, mate?
He puts a finger to his lips: leg it. He’s just threatened some bloke for looking at him.
The other guy turns round then.
Meanwhile, my debut novel Secrets by Lawrence Estrey is available from Amazon in paperback and e-book.
Check out the reviews for Secrets.
Newspaper article on author.