Twists and turns and Purple Roads

Purple Roads has taken a turn that I didn’t expect! Sometimes when that happens, it’s quite difficult; other times it’s great and the words just pour out – I think that’s what I’m about to experience… well I hope I am! I know when I went to bed; the new plot just ran around in my brain for the entire night, even when I was so-called sleeping!

Lunch with my critique partner, on Friday, was amazing. We decided we needed to map out a story for a minor character. The trouble was this character decided that he wanted to be in the limelight! He’s gone from being a bloke that just popped up, every now and then, to holding the key to the whole story! (I must say, I do wish he’d spoken up sooner!)

Purple Roads involves trucks and even though I grew up in a trucking family, it’s been a long time since I’ve sat in one. I thought I’d better go and see what changes had been made in the last fifteen years! The technology, from computers that tell you every tiny thing that’s happening with your truck (at that minute!) to mobile phones, iPod holders, CD players…  Well, it’s a far cry from the old wireless and tape deck and large clumsy HF radio that had a calling distance of over 3,000 kilometres, which the blokes that used to drive for Dad, had.

The trucks are comfortable; and they need to be, for a lot of these guys, they spend over 200 days per year, on the road.

I must say a huge thank you to Myles so showed me all the trucks and took the time to explain all the terminology that’s changed, since I was a kid. Also to the bloke who is answering questions about a time in his life, which was hell; thank you for reliving the memories, so my writing can authentic.

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  1. Thanks for sharing some of the processes that go with writing a novel. For the one I’m trying to write, I’m going to have to consult an expert or two to make sure I get things right … I know many novelists do that and thank them in the acknowledgements. Have you ever had someone say no or demand payment? I’m nervous about asking because I think so many people would want money to cover their time …

    1. Hi Bronnie – it depends on if your talking about published authors or people who are in the publishing industry OR friends! My critique partner is my best friend. For years we’ve read books talked about them, pulled characters apart, seen what works and what doesn’t, so to talk about my writing is just an extension of what we’ve always done. She also reads everything I write, before anyone else – the feedback I get is invaluable. If you read this: http://fleurmcdonald.com/writing-journey/ you’ll see where she comes in.

      If you approach someone who works in the industry, they’ll invariably want paying. Your best bet is to join a writers group or somewhere like The Queensland Writers Centre http://fleurmcdonald.com/giveaways-for-writers-2/ where they offer critique services. Otherwise, chose a friend who loves reading as much as you do, take the plunge, let them read it and then talk about it until your heart is content!

      Hope this helps. If you want more info, just ask!

  2. Oh Sorry Fleur, Thanks for answering but I meant where you need an expert to tell you about things. Like if someone takes this drug how would it affect their body. If someone killed a person like this, would they be able to hide it etc. I’ve heard that writers like Tara Moss will often talk to doctors, scientists, people in morgues or forensics; others like Katherine Howell or Kylie Ladd have a background in another field; others talk to chefs, doctors, detectives etc to make their writing read true.
    I’m lucky enough to already have an agent and I’m with the QWC, but it’s those little things where you need to make sure that’s what in your imagination can actually happen which gets me.
    As an ex-journo, I’ve always been used to asking experts for their opinions or comments, but they are always attributed and the publicity is almost instant as the work is published or hits the news, so they’re happy to do it for free, either as part of their job, or to build their own reputations/profile. I’ve left journalism behind now, and as a fiction writer, I can’t promise there will be any publicity, so I figure experts would be less likely to want to help. And as you know, even if the book is a hit, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make a lot of it to be able to payback helpers.
    Hope this clarifies my query.
    Best wishes,
    Bronnie

    1. Ah Huh! Got you! Everyone I’ve asked for help have given it willingly and without payment. I still talk to my Stock Squad source (from Red Dust) when I get stuck with a plot line – his day to day life in the police force has huge amount of material but he can also given me the tech side as well. But I do like to thank who ever helps, so I often send the finished book or a bottle of wine.

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