The Making of a Novel

I’ve had this idea running around in my head for ages. A story of one man’s dream to build an ice-rink in Russia. Based on a friend and business colleague who died a couple of years back. Same style of writing as A Small History of Tractors in Ukrainian. So far, I’ve written 8000 words in a failed attempt to do the Novel in a Month challenge in November 2007. Now it’s resurrected and I’m working with a tutor to knock it into shape and finish it. Hopefully it will then get published – but let’s take it one step at a time.

After 3 sessions with my wonderful tutor KT (you know who you are!), around 4000 words have been torn to shreds and are starting to be put back together. I’m having difficulties with two main aspects:

1. There’s a world of difference between writing a short story where every word counts and all extra detail is binned and writing a novel where there needs to be background, setting, atmosphere, character development etc. My 8000 words will probably morph into 30000+, even before I start writing the rest of the story.

2. There’s a world of difference between fact and fiction. At present, much of the narrative is based on real incidents from my travel. I keep saying ‘but it wasn’t like that’ to which KT replies ‘who cares – it’s fiction’!

I can see this is going to be a long but interesting journey. I’d love it if you would join me sometimes along the way.

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By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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