Thursday, March 17, 2011

Starting Over

Feedback I received from two of the judges regarding Heart of Stone made my trip to London and the Pure Passion Awards Ceremony infinitely worthwhile, despite the sore throat, cough, and Dalek voice resulting from a bug I picked up on the train. On their advice I’m changing genres for my new book, from historical romance where the relationship takes centre stage, to historical fiction where romance is only one thread in a larger and more complex tapestry. This means I’ve had to discard several months’ work already done. But I really liked the characters and plotline I’ve taken out. So they are saved in separate file and I'll definitely return to them.

Starting a new book always fills me with excitement, and ambition to make it better than the one before. But this time the mix includes a hefty dose of nerves as I’m taking a giant step outside my comfort zone.

I love walking. And here in Cornwall where I live there is so much beautiful and inspiring scenery within a short distance of my home. There are woods, rocky coves with secret caves, and winding paths that people have been using for hundreds of years. So on Sunday morning after a hectic week we drove out to Trebah and did our favourite coastal walk. It was early and we had the place to ourselves as most people come out for fresh air after lunch. As we made our way along the narrow path above a shingle beach lapped by clear turquoise water, ideas and possibilities for my new book were bubbling up. This what if stage is great fun as potential plotlines and character attributes and emotional baggage are considered, discarded, or expanded. Today I’m splitting my time between research and developing those ideas and characters. To achieve a powerful and emotionally-gripping story will take months of hard work. This will include moments of teeth-grinding frustration; flashes of inspiration, shock when characters start saying and doing things I hadn't planned for, and the occasional revelation that suddenly lifts the story to a new level. I'm off to get started.

Jane Jackson


Louise Allen said...

The best of luck with your new departure into historical novels!

Anonymous said...

Have fun with your new novel! (They're all fun at this early stage, aren't they?)
Love your pictures!

Jane Jackson said...

Thanks, Louise. It's daunting, but I'm excited too. I'd like to emulate your success. The expression on your face on receiving your Award was one to treasure!

Jane Jackson said...

Thank you, Lady Susan. Glad you like the photos. I know how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful place.

Jane Jackson said...

Could I apologise for the huge font and wide spacing in my post. I don't know how that came about. It might have something to do with the fact that I wrote my blog in Word, so I could edit, then cut and pasted into Blogger. Any advice gratefully received.

Melinda Hammond said...

I loved Herat of Stone, Jane and I'm sure you'll do well on your new genre!

And thank you for the photos - makes me long for the holidays!

Jane Jackson said...

Thanks, Melinda. I wish I had your confidence - but I'm working on it!
If ever your holidays bring you to my vicinity I could show you some of my favourite - and most inspiring - places. I guarantee you'll return home with ideas for at least six books.

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

You go for it, Jane! Yes, it will be scary but I'm sure it will be rewarding, too.

Good luck.