Anything, literally anything is possible… when you write!! In your writing you can be anything you want to be, an astronaut, a channel swimmer, the head of a royal family, a foot soldier in the Mongol hoards.
This is how I first began to write, when i was very young, I would imagine ‘adventures’ where i was able to do all the things a young child couldn’t do. This continued throughout my childhood and most of my day-dreams were adventures, but gradually they incorporated not characters from the comics and books I read, or the programmes I heard on the radio, but people I had seen, real people who I didn’t know but imagined. Often they were actors in films, or members of bands but sometimes they were people I saw in town, or girls I didn’t know at school.
As i got older, the main character in what had become proper stories, was usually a version of myself, a person I’d like to be, taller, slimmer, stronger, braver, but often in very loose situations with a lack of family or friends so the character was free to do what they wanted without any responsibilities.
The first complete novel I wrote was actually from the point of view of a man – a young man who’d left home at eighteen and ended up working in a bar inn the south of France. He met up with a brother, sister and brother’s girl-friend, became involved with them and at the end of the season went back to England to the farm where they lived with their father and uncle. None of them had any jobs, none, apart from the waiter had any income, they just floated!
The next novel was of a young woman from a very wealthy family, so again there was no job, she just wandered about doing what ever she fancied… It was very naive and looking back on it initially I thought it self-indulgent imaginings, but now I think it was all part of the process – or my process of learning to write. My next attempt was actually much better, much tighter and the main female character worked as a translator – so it did give her freedom to do whatever the plot dictated, but she was anchored in some sort of reality. Other characters also had ‘real jobs’, a doctor, a policeman, a company director…
I don’t think I will ever do anything with these stories, although aspects of them might crop up in something I write in the future. My first ‘proper’ novel which I keep toying with the idea of rewriting, was about a family whose farm had diversified into renting buildings as small businesses. The main character is a professional artist (I know plenty of those so she is based in reality) and it’s about what happens when her step-father dies and leaves his property to her step-brothers and her.
I began to have ideas about narrative rather than character… so far everything I’d written had been about people relating to each other – not romantically necessarily, although that was usually an aspect of it, reflecting my age I guess! I began to have different ideas; I was interested in stalkers and stalking which can be a terrifying experience, and I began to think about someone who turned the tables on a stalker and began to pursue them… I also had an idea of a person living two lives, of juggling two different situations… and eventually that became the story of a person who finds their partner was already married when they married them, turning it round from the bigamist to the victim.
These books were eventually written and are now available on Amazon; once I gave up the day job I was free to write all day every day, and I caught up with the bigamist, the stalker, and other half-written stories – a man suffering from PTSD who may or may not be a killer, a family who falls apart after the death of a controlling grandma, an unexpected love affair which leads to violence…
And then… and then I began to write the Radwinter stories, which started with the name and a rough idea of four brothers… and led to six novels, the seventh just being finished off!
If you haven’t yet read my novels, here’s a link:
You won’t find the wealthy young girl, the translator or the waiter from the South of France… I don’t think they will see the light of a reading lamp!