I wasn’t really envious – well, a little! A friend was now writing his 3rd book and I was struggling to make progress on my #2. But, I reassured myself, Rome wasn’t built in a day and, besides, mine was more technical – requiring considerable research. And, I had no research assistant! The funny thing was, although about half-way through novel two, I had the last chapter sorted. Then, smug, smug, I was sure that I had gone well past the middle when a word count (hate that tool) revealed that I had only completed 32,000 words. Dang it! Still, this wake-up shook me into being more disciplined and, I am proud to say, my writing has improved. I am now into a routine of morning writing, followed by a quick evening review. I also determine to try and keep my weekends free – in the same way as I did when teaching.
It was a great conversation with a colleague over a recent lunch. We had both studied Geography at university and he mentioned the value of being able to view the world through a geographer’s eyes – looking at the landscape and how it was formed. I suddenly realized that this training had helped me connect different events to help construct the background details for 3 WISE MEN. Here is one example:
My wife and I were enjoying a late lunch in a piazza in Florence when we noticed a priest hurrying past. I could not resist a picture (below). When constructing details for the wider plot, it occurred to me that this innocent priest might play an important part.
“I had just left the Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, and was crossing the piazza outside the church when a priest approached me. He was obviously in a hurry as his cassock was waving wildly behind him. When he reached me, he paused and whispered, ‘I must see you urgently at the Statue of David at 7 o’clock tonight. Be there!’ Then he took off, heading for the hotel nearby. I was taken by surprise.” [extract, pg 192]
I am sure that readers will be equally surprised when they discover what the priest wanted to say to Pierre when he met him at The Statue of David!