Peter's Latest Novel

Who? Me, Peter Crawley, the writer at
What? A fictional novella titled 'What You Don't Know About Me'
When? 5th November to 2nd December - 28 days
Where? At my desk
Why? So that I have a goal for lockdown
How? Now that's the challenge!

Over the next 28 days of the second UK Covid-19 lock-down, I'll be writing a fictional novella.

Each day I'll publish a diary page here, documenting my progress.

Follow my journey below.

The five Ws and the H of writing more generally apply to learning, brainstorming or journalistic technique; yet they apply to writers, too. Who is your story about? What is your story about? When is your story set? Where is it set? Why is your story relevant or important and how are you going to tell it? These are, if you like, the cornerstones from which a writer raises his novel. But what if you don't have the luxury of time to plan before you build?

When it comes to construction, I've heard it said that you can erect a shelter in a day; whereas to build a house takes time. The metaphor is appropriate, for Constant Tides took me many miles and two years to complete. Writing a novel set on the shores of the Strait of Messina, Sicily, also required me to learn a great deal of local history and language, led me to draw on the knowledge and help of many close friends, historians and journalists, and introduced me to the crew of the feluca Antonio Padre. When, and only when, I had accumulated sufficient knowledge, did I feel properly equipped to approach the story.

Some might call writing that relies solely on the wits of the writer 'freeform' and others might define the style as 'creative', though all writing is by definition creative. The challenge for me therefore is twofold: to write a novella of between 17,500 and 40,000 words in just 28 days, without either pages of reference notes or the facility of recalling first-hand experience; and to pen a brief diary of how I navigate the potholes and bumps in the road. The diary I will post here and, assuming I meet the challenge, What You Don't Know About Me will be published free on Kindle in December.

Read the 28 day lockdown diary

Further Reading

What You Don't Know About Me

Constant Tides

The Wind between Two Worlds

The Truth in Fiction

Ontreto: A Novel of Lipari

Boarding House Reach

Mazzeri: Love and Death in Light and Shadow