Archive for November, 2013

The Flat in Doughty Court
I wrote this in September this year, after watching Ealing’s version of The Four Just Men (1939); it’s just for fun. Click on the link above to go to the file — it’s a pdf, but other formats are available on request.


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NaNoWriMo winner!

Yes, I’ve got there! My 50,000 words plus have been validated. Very exciting. Must print off my certificate and stick it next to the computer printer. Now I really, really need a cover picture. So that’s the next job.

On the way to the 50,000 words, I’ve been to various websites, such as this one for information about the early women’s police force, this one for information about the 1926 General Strike in England, this one on the Zinoviev letter and a lot of Wikipedia pages for information about early 1920s handguns and the political history of Britain, Germany, the Soviet Union and Spain in the same period. As I knew little or nothing about any of these when I started, it’s been a good learning experience at least.

All this for a scribble with the title The Woman of Gratz. Fans of Edgar Wallace’s Four Just Men will know who this is without any further introduction. Suffice it to say that wherever Maria goes, general strikes, handguns and fratricidal politics will be there too.

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I haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been on Facebook — I’ve been working and NaNoWriMo-ing. Truly, the NaNoWriMo challenge has kept me sane these last few weeks. Whenever things at work got really bad, I could take two mental steps back — I’d got the story waiting for me on the computer at home, eagerly awaiting the next instalment. Gradually the story took form — and very conveniently fitted into the location I’d chosen for it. Last night I got the first draft done. Hooray!

Of course, that’s not the end of it. It now needs a first read-through, filling of plot holes, a spell-check, and a thorough polish. Then I’ll ask my usual critics to read it. And it could use a cover picture … but that’s not the main thing. The main thing is that 3 weeks ago I had an idea, and now it’s a story; and that’s astonishingly satisfying.

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As I mentioned in my last post, this year I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo: national novel writing month. So far I’ve written nearly 13,000 words, and I’m now much better informed on women police officers in London the 1920s, and trams, the London Underground, venues for anarchist meetings and what sort of guns Edgar Wallace’s characters used in his 1920s novels. Perhaps by the end of November the scribble will have become a novel!

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Like half of the rest of the planet (it seems?) I’m going to try NaNoWriMo this month. The ironic thing is that I really did write 50,000 words of scribble in October, but it wasn’t really a novel — more a collection of short pieces that all meshed together.

And of course my ‘novel’ in November is going to be a ‘continuation’ of Edgar Wallace’s ‘Four Just Men’ stories, because that’s what I’m doing just now. Yes, there is a copyright issue, but if the copyright holder of Edgar Wallace’s novels would like the revenue from this — which is precisely nothing — they are free to let me know. Or they could just let me go on publicising the original novels?

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