Continuing our Writer Spotlight series, we’re delighted to host an article by Peter Templeton Neale.
Writer Spotlight is an opportunity for our members to draw attention to their iWRR ebook as well as to them as a writer, their style and interests. We’re not looking for anything in particular – so feel free to let your creativity loose!
Writing for me is a Journey
by Peter Templeton Neale
Story writing for me is a journey, a release, an escape; a wonderful voyage where through my characters I make choices and over time discover where those decisions lead.
My job takes up a significant proportion of time and by necessity my writing has developed over the years into three distinct stages:
I am fortunate not to suffer writer’s block and am able to switch my ‘muse’ on and off. During periods of inspiration (often when attending music festivals, or lying awake at home late at night) I keep a note book to hand and scribble down every thought. One of my most profound concepts was hatched in a Scottish field while listening to the Icelandic band Sigur Rós.
This is where I fit my ideas around a story structure and develop characters and settings. The structures of my stories are inspired by screenwriting guru Robert McKee, and this stage of the process involves a fair deal of research which can include visits to potential story locations. ‘The Olympian’ takes in Easter Island and Ancient Olympia amongst many varied locations but I’m afraid my budget didn’t stretch that far.
‘The Olympian’ went through eight drafts before it was ready to publish. I had no problem withkilling off weak characters, eliminating chapters or deleting pronouns. It’s a story for 9 to 12-year-olds, so I spent time working with school children and listening to their views. I attended an Arvon writing course and heeded the criticism of my peers. I shared excerpts with writing communities and paid attention whenever comments were constructive. I even turned to professional editors for advice; all the time seeking to improve and hone my writing.
This is my third full-length work: I wrote two novel-length manuscripts in the ‘90s, one for children and one for adults, but without success. I began ‘The Olympian’ in 2005, inspired by the connection between my Shropshire home town Much Wenlock and the London Olympics (The 2012 mascot is named ‘Wenlock’ – no doubt you’ll hear all about it next year). The story started as a dramatisation of local Victorian gentleman Dr William Penny Brookes’ life but I’ve read far too many Douglas Adams and HG Wells novels and watched too many Pixar movies for it to be a straight and sensible biography, and through many hours of excitable inspiration ‘The Olympian’ morphed into a time travel quest adventure.
As well as an eBook, it’s available as a paperback published by local independent Ellingham Press. The sequel ‘The Inky Bird’ is underway with completion due at some point next year.
Read a free sample of Peter’s ebook and download the full works here:
Connect with Peter directly here: Facebook
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