Since the end of term, I've been trying to keep going with 'Dreaming in Stone'. But I'm hitting a problem with research.
It was easy enough when I started out, to write about a house in a French village. I could draw on personal experience. But I wanted to send my heroine to work in a French restaurant, and her son to study in a French school (lycee).
I have a book called 'From Here You Can't See Paris", which is set in and around a restaurant in the Lot. This helps with the life of a restaurant, but I still feel there are gaps. Obviously the fiction writer has to make things up to fill those gaps, but you want your fiction to be credible and consistent. I put my kitchen beneath the restaurant - and I think that, in the last chapter, I forgot to send the staff upstairs! I probably need to draw a plan of the restaurant, to go with the plan of the house and its barns which I've already drawn.
As for the lycee, it's easy enough to find facts about schools in France - what age students change schools, what subjects they take etc. But it's harder to find what it's like to be in a French school.
I'm going to France on Sunday. Perhaps I could try asking people -but that means telling them I'm writing a novel. I've been very reluctant to do that. Even to myself, I've called it a story, or a retirement project. It seems such a stupidly ambitious project for a whose greatest success to date is .
Hah! Here's my Novelist friend, with further news from Planet Research. heheh. I love it.
See? I called you a Novelist. Good time of life to write a novel, what better time than , except you're not really .
And anyway, I am involved with your characters, so onward please .. thankyou very much. I await my completed version of Dreaming In Stone.
I just read a book by Adele Geras, called Facing the Light. We were on holiday, and it was on the shelf of tattered battered books that guests had left behind. I don't usually read on holiday, but this book captured my attention.
The books that people leave behind have a character of their own, I find. . This book had the first few front pages torn out, perhaps because it was a library book , and the remaining pages were all yellow, and there were stains of sun oil and squashed bugs and sandwich crumbs.
I just got my own copy, because it was such a great book, and I got involved with the characters. Nanny Mouse, and the doll's house, and .... and the mystery ....
Have you ever read Adele Geras?
I'm sorry I didn't reply to your post before. I was in France for a fortnight, and I've only just found it.
I'm afraid that I haven't heard of Adele Gerard, but that doesn't prove anything - there are so many books out there to be read.
I've just finished 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak, which I found extraordinary. It's narrated by Death, and set in Nazi Germany, where there are a lot of people dying. It follows the fortunes of a young girl, Liesel Meminger, who discovers the power of books.
I did a bit of writing in France, but I haven't done much since I came back.
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