I’ve done bugger all research for this book, and as yet I haven’t had time to come up with any sort of outline, let alone a chapter plan. Nevertheless I’ve steamed on and written around 10k so far, most of which is actual fiction as opposed to stream of consciousness padding. I’m not sure whether my voice comes through in the same way as it has done with the last couple of books, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In the last issue of Mslexia, Susan Hill gave an interview in which she suggested that ‘write what you know’ is a load of old cobblers. Who would want to read about the minutiae of your daily life, she asks. Surely the point of fiction is to take you away from such mundanity? Writers ought to use their imagination.
A somewhat cynical look at the already fading Paranormal Romance genre may not be entirely what she was getting at, but a certain amount of imagination is required to write about a teenage vampire. I’m not immortal, or overly sensitive to UV, and I didn’t spend those formative teen years sucking blood. Well, not any more than is normal for young persons of that age range. So most of this is going to have to be made up.
Still, I’m a bit worried about running into clichés. The imagination is influenced by what you’ve seen and read, which means that the more research I’ve carried out the better because I can avoid doing things that have already been done. Unfortunately I’m limited to ironic viewings of the Twilight movies, 3 episodes of Being Human, and half a short story. I am, therefore, a mite concerned that my imagination will tread paths already trod. Frinstance I have been leaning towards sticking a werewolf in there – like that hasn’t been done to death.
Unless I think of an original twist. Maybe it could be a werewolf FROM SPACE. M. Night Shyamalan eat your heart out…