I've written almost nothing these past two months. Yet I have not been lost in a creative wasteland. I've been making art instead.
A young man, bored by his humble life and forced from his home by his seemingly callous (though more likely long-suffering) mother, sets out to take up employment in the only place that will have him: a mouldering castle where the few remaining servants are always certain to lock their doors at night...
In this, the first of a multi-part series, I'll look back on how I wrote my first novel, describe how I tracked my productivity in doing so, and examine what the data I gathered tells me about myself as a writer.
It took me a long time to work my way through this book, for several reasons. The first, and least important, is that it is a brick. Weighing in at a whopping 1,015 pages (yes, that’s a comma in that number), this book is no breezy, book-club volume. It’s a commitment. Like buying a turtle.
Writing a smashing good jacket blurb, or, How to Talk About Your Book At Parties.
I will begin by saying that this book is most definitely not for the Tolkien neophyte. The Silmarillion is unquestionably required reading before attempting this collection (for collection it is), and a firm understanding of that work at that.
I made the early error of presuming I could read - and thereby review – this book by the same rules and standards of other fiction, but such conventions are meaningless to Cormac McCarthy. What he has created in Blood Meridian is something altogether distinct, and as such requires a different lens through which to examine it.
I began reading this novel knowing that, (even because) it was published under J.K. Rowling’s ‘nom de plume’, and so I was curious to see how it would differ to her Harry Potter books, and of course, by extension, how it would resemble them as well.
By far the strength of ‘The Bone Clocks’ comes from its characters. From rebellious Holly Sykes, through the charismatic (yet dastardly) Hugo Lamb, to self-absorbed author Crispin Hershey, Mitchell imbues each with a unique voice, and an ample number of pages in which to convey it.