Penguin Cafe Waiter (livingarmchair) wrote,
Penguin Cafe Waiter

The Archivist and the Cottages

I decided to start the story about the cottages and the archivist, and have been frantically reading through my scarily large college of local history books to try to find some dramatic events in Coventry's history as well as some ideas of what life was like in the early 20th century and during the post-medieval decline that lasted until the early 20th century. Naturally, the bombing raids of the 1940s are one such event, and the other will be the migration of cottage industries to full scale industrial boom... Other include the fairly draconian working conditions in some of the local industry (GEC in particular) and the excitement of new industries such as aircraft and automobiles that drew people to Coventry and resulted in hundreds of automotive firms, all developing and inventing (Including the modern bicycle...) It must have been exciting to see this tiny town, unchanged for 400 years, suddenly fill up with new businesses all making vehicles, planes or synthentic goods.

Anyway, having drawn up characters I struggled with the opening. Two openings have been dropped with a turd-y splat that they deserved, and I was thinking of ditching the whole lot this morning. Who wants to read a story that starts with two people in an archive? Or standing outside an old building? Boring. I fell asleep while writing it. Until the opening grips me, then it's pointless to continue.

This afternoon while walking around Leamington with Talia on my shoulders I had a huge revelation and a new opening popped up. A visit by the protagonist to the antagonist, that straight away becomes threatening and sinister, even frightening, before getting the protagonist into a situation where he's practically crapping himself... Before executing a neat turn around that makes us see that the "baddie" isn't really a baddy, but he's going to demolish those cottages and nothing'll get in his way... Neatly introduces us to the two main characters, the source of conflict and gets the ball rolling nicely.

Well it works for me! Although I can safely say that no publisher on this planet will want to publish a book about old cottages in Coventry, but ho hum. You can't choose your ideas and what thrills you, can you?

Next week: a thrilling story about the last tree in Nuneaton town centre being threatened with the chainsaw.
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