On the other hand, Peter James, another best-selling author whose later books are set in Brighton and feature Roy Grace, tells how he approached his first book. He had the opening scene in mind but that was all. After writing that, he just followed on, writing, as it were, by the seat of his pants. I have heard of other authors doing the same. Others have said that they have in mind the closing scene and then have to work through to that.
Well, some years ago I started writing a novel. I adopted a sort of Peter James approach in that I new where the story would be set and I had in mind some of the characters. However, I was undecided about the plot and intended just seeing how things developed. I am going to be incommunicado for a week to ten days, so I thought I might schedule a few posts featuring some of the early scenes and introducing the main characters - or maybe they are just some of the main characters with others to appear as the plot unfolds. Today I will tell you just that the story opens in that part of Brighton known as the North Laine, an area developed during Victorian times to provide housing for the working class.
The main characters live in a terraced street called Princess Row and they are:
At No 2: Tom Finch, fifty-something, caretaker at the University of Brighton.
No 3: Mavis Muriel Oldthorpe, aka Irena Kastelevich, 58, fortune teller on Brighton Pier.
No 4: Max Soper & Roger Hastings, aspiring artist and clerk in the finance department at the City Council.
No 71: Nikki Russell, single mother, jewellery maker, and daughter Katie, 6.
No 72: Guy & Gemma Carstairs, >the Gee-Gees=, weekenders from London.
No 73: Ted & Val Watson, retired postman and wife.
Tomorrow I'll start the tale.