15 June 2012

The Roots of a Novel

A couple of years ago, while waiting to hear from publishers about Lives Interrupted, I did what every author should do - start another novel.  I was about halfway through the first draft when I started getting replies from the publishers.  Ultimately the replies ended with 'not for us', but several gave me valuable feedback and so I went back to Lives Interrupted.

Fast forward a couple of years and I am working on this novel again. It is still without a title.  I've been calling it 'The Cornish Novel' as much of it is set in Cornwall.

While I was originally working on the first draft, the story took a change of direction and so I've decided to go back to basics and re-plot it.

There are a number of scenes that have been attacked with a machete and no longer exist.  I've vigorously pruned others, and some I delicately trimmed. Reading this you'd think I was a gardener - not so, just a bit indulgent today with the adjectives.

I had fun coming up with the name of the village in the novel.  My village is based on a real one, but I wanted to use a different name.  Mainly because it had been a number of years since I'd visited the village, and I wasn't sure how much I could trust my memories, but I also wanted to make some changes to the local geography.

I did some research on Cornish words and came up with a list that I liked, both for their meaning and sound.  Then I put different words together until I came up with pairings that worked, that I could pronounce, and that I couldn't find in a Google search. The first two points were easier to meet than the last, but finally my village was named - Poldrayth.

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