What’s on your desk, Wednesday? Weekly Spotlight Feature!
From the desk of : : Chris Wimpress
My Writing Routine :
My desk is in my flat in central London. It’s a bright room with floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s just the dining room table, with an orchid that used to be blooming but has gone dormant recently and some candles. When I’m writing (actually setting the thing down) I face towards the rest of the living room. When I’m editing I switch sides and face the wall. Something about the wall and editing make sense.
I’ve written in different ways at different times in my life. I’ve written three novels and the first two were largely bashed out between 5:00 and 7:00 in the morning before I left for work. I’m a BBC journalist, which keeps me busy enough.
Then when I was writing my third novel my work pattern changed a lot, and I started working at 5:15am, anyway. So that pretty much scuppered the early writing starts. Instead I now only write on days off, and on those days I can bash out about 1500 words in a day, if things are going well.
In the past I used to get my partner to take the wireless router to work, which used to instill panic in me until I realised the answer to the questions you think you need the internet for are usually to be found from within, if you think about it long enough.
I take about three weeks off work a year just to write. In those scenarios I seek out places with no 4G signal on my phone, as well as no wireless router. If you can kill the internet for long periods of time, you’ll write a lot more and you’ll enjoy writing it more – after all, isn’t the consolation of writing those brief moments when you’re flying through it? Hard to get that if your phone is pinging notifications at you all day.
If I get stuck I go for a run, something I’ve been doing for about four years. I used to swim when I got stuck, but that was when I lived a lot closer to a pool. These days I’m miles from a pool but close to the river in the middle of London, which is great for a good run. I started swimming then running for the mental benefits – huge amounts of plot development and snags get sorted out when I’m running – but the physical perks are good too. And if you’re running 15k a week, you can eat as much ice cream as you like.
In terms of how I put a novel together, there is no outline. I’ve never known the ending to any novel I’ve written until I’ve reached at least the halfway point. The first 10,000 words or so are the worst, sort of like when dating someone you’re not quite sure about. At 10,000 words it’s a case of commit or quit. I’ve got 3 novels I’m in the “dating” stage with at the moment and am struggling to choose which one to properly take on. The one I am most keen on is the one that’s playing hardest to get, of course.
Website: : www.chriswimpress.uk
About the Book : :
Weeks in Naviras by Chris Wimpress
: : A speculative fiction / political novel set in the near future in Downing Street, the White House and a Portuguese fishing village.
Something is wrong at the heart of the tiny fishing village of Naviras, a place where Ellie often sought refuge as the rest of her life was collapsing; during the silent and invisible end of her marriage as her husband’s political power grew.
Ellie fell in love with the village and the people who lived in it. Now she’s back to remember and relive her time there, recalling the secrets which sprang up within its narrow streets and at Casa Amanha, the home of a weather forecaster where her love for two men begins and ends.
Ellie has returned to Naviras just as a conspiracy to destabilise the Middle East is erupting. The village is the first and last place she ought to be, but Naviras has saved its biggest and deadliest secret for last.
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About the Author : :
Chris Wimpress was born in Northampton, England in 1977. He read English at Edinburgh University and on graduating worked as a journalist for BBC news, including stints on the flagship Today programme – the UK’s most influential daily news broadcast – and at the BBC’s political department at Westminster.
In 2011 he helped launch the UK Edition of The Huffington Post as its first political editor, working there until the end of 2012. He lives in London.
Joe is Online is his first novel. Weeks in Naviras is his second.
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