Good afternoon peeps
This post is all about writing and nothing whatsoever to do with the rhubarb crumble I’m making tonight because I have to.
Almost two years ago, I started a story called The Sospiro Journal and in those two years it has been re-plotted and re-charactarised (is that a word?) several times. It has also had its setting changed to a funicular rail journey away from the original place. Let me clarify; we stopped at Como on the way down to Apecchio in Italy back in 2015, and being a lover of spy and war stories I couldn’t help but notice that the border control between Switzerland and Italy, on the outskirts of Como, was, in the December darkness, like something out of a film or a cold war photo. Immediatly I imagined the place in 1943; misty and dark with yellow-ish street lights on the pavements (I ignored the black out issue to start with). One of the passport control officers notices a woman in a red coat standing under the same streetlight every week before crossing the border and hopping on a train.
This is where my Sospiro Journal story started, and even though I struggled with part of the story, I managed to write about 39,000 words before it was time to travel again. This time we went up the funicular railway to Brunate, and at the top there is this atmospheric ruin of an old hotel, and I found out from one of the cafe owners that it used to be the Grand Milano Hotel, but it fell into disrepair after the war. With a little googling I found out that it used to host a lot of rich families that were escaping the bombs in Milan and other cities that are nearby, and I ask you, how can you not become a little obsessed with an old building like that? I certainly did, and I promptly got rid of my original 39,000 words and started re-plotting the story to be set at the hotel in 1943, and in 2011. It has been terribly difficult to come up with the 2011 part of the story, but I think I’ve got it now. I reckon that when it’s done, it’s going to be fab, but then again I would say that, wouldn’t I 🙂 The sad thing is that the border control no longer features in it but it might be the setting for another story at some point.
I think what I’m trying to say with this rather rambling post, is that you have to really love your story and be passionate about all of it. If you’re not, then nobody else will be either. If you have to re-write all, or part of it, for it to become better, then do it. You will need to love it more than anything because otherwise harsh reviews will act as fizzing acid on your writing ambitions. I know, I’ve been there and my writing life survived only because I had such faith in that story.
Right, I’m off to find some rhubarb in the fridge and get working on that there crumble.