Sunday, June 9, 2013

Postcard from the stone

I'm currently revising my latest novel, which means paying attention to details such as settings.The plot is in place, the characters are full of life - so now I need to colour in the scenery to allow readers to build a full picture of events in their mind. I tend to skip over that stage in my first drafts.

It should be easy. After all, I set my books in the city I live in. I regularly walk through it. In theory I know what it looks like and only have to translate that into words on the page. But although I think I'm observant it turns out I haven't been looking quite closely enough.

I went on a walking tour recently themed around the sculpture of William Bloye. His work enhances a lot of Birmingham's public and private buildings and he was Professor of Sculpture at the city's art school, which ties in nicely with some events in my book. Once I started looking at his work, I remembered other things I've seen in a similar vein. Connections were made, ideas generated, stories began to develop. I bet thousands of people walk past the plaque in the photo above every day without looking properly. They've probably got other things on their minds; it is near the entrance to a police station.

The tour was a good reminder to keep my eyes open and a notebook to hand. And it drew my attention to the story of a dog who accompanied his stone mason owner to work every day and is now immortalised in the fabric of the city. Bet not many Brummies have noticed, despite it being in a prime central location. I like how some of the city's stories are marked in its stones. Now I just have to tell a few of them.


Timberati said...

Such sights are just another reminder how difficult it is to live just in the moment.

Katharine D'Souza said...

I wish I noticed more things like this rather than the adverts plastered all over the place.

Tom Raymond said...

What a great idea for a site. I like this post, too: the notion of looking as opposed to seeing. I live in London and the Strand, from this perspective, is like a smorgasbord.

Katharine D'Souza said...

Hi Tom. Thanks for your comment. And nudge that I've left this blog sadly neglected lately. Hope to be back with more things I've looked at soon. K