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NinaMilton

Sabbie Dare and Friends

I have been writing fiction since my reception teacher, Mrs Marsden, put a paper and pencil in front of me. I can remember thinking; What? Do real people write these lovely books? I want to do that! I gained an MA in creating writing and sold my first books for children; Sweet’n’Sour, (HarperCollins) and Tough Luck, (Thornberry Publishing), both from Amazon. I also love writing short stories and they regularly appear in British anthologies. I now write crime fiction, published by Midnight Ink. The idea for In the Moors , my first Shaman Mystery came to me one day, in the guise of Sabbbie Dare. She came to me fully formed and said; “I'm a young therapist, a shaman, and sometimes I do get very strange people walking into my therapy room. Honestly, I could write a book about some of them...” I am a druid; a pagan path which takes me close to the earth and into the deep recesses of my mind. Shamanic techniques help me in my life - in fact they changed my life - although, unlike Sabbie, I’ve never set up a therapeutic practice...I’m too busy writing and teaching creative writing with the Open College of the Arts. I’m a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Although I was born, educated and raised my two children in the West Country, I now live in west Wales with my husband James. IN THE MOORS, the first Shaman Mystery starring SABBIE DARE was released in the US in 2013 and UNRAVELLING VISIONS will be out this autumn, but you can already reserve your copy on Amazon. Join me on my vibrant blogsite, http://www.kitchentablewriters.blogspot.com where I offer students and other writers some hard-gained advice on how to write fiction.

Currently reading

Rivers of London: Body Work
Ben Aaronovitch, Lee Sullivan Hill, Andrew Cartmel

Walking Through Stories

 

Many writers walk to invent their stories. Dickens apparently wrote most mornings and walked every afternoon. I think his characters and their senarios walked with him, ready for their creation by pen the following morning.


I've used this method for years. It doesn't matter if the surrounds are urban or rural, but naturally it's nicer if there are trees and birds. The most important thing is that I am on my own. When you walk with others, you're bound to chatter. When you walk alone, you chatter to your characters, and they chatter back. In this way, stories develop through your feet. I've walked my way through dialogue, scene-building, description, interior monologue, action, development of plot. Holding it in your head is the hard part - I've been known to race back on the home stretch, my hands itching for the keyboard. 

A more recent development has been to walk with Joe (my walking buddy) to explore actual sites for events to happen. As I'm now writing crime fiction, we laughingly call these 'murder walks'. On them we search out the best place to dispose of bodies, the best place to commit the crime, the best place to hide from the cops...whatever is required, really. Actually seeing the landscape enhances the final descriptions from guesswork to atmospheric reality and the 'blocking out' process of making sure things can really happen - all the hows, whys, thens and theres - becomes accurate and simplified.

As we walk, we chat about the interweavings of plot and character with landscape, throw ideas at each other and iron out problems. Such a walking buddy has to be trustworthy...and a bit of a writer themselves, if possible, but mostly any good friend with a pair of lace-up boots would do.

In this way, we've marched through forests, along coastlines, past power stations, been blown off mountains and squelched into bogs. I once walked all around a Killarney lake and ended up with a love song which, foolishly pen and paperless, I had to hold in my head until I returned to my friend's house.

I'd be interested to know if other people do this, and if they feel it's worthwhile...at least for the waistline!
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Source: http://kitchentablewriters.blogspot.com.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/the-seven-novels-that-entirely-changed.html?spref=fb