Crooked Usage

Back at the start of the month I heard Ian Rankin and Frederic Forsyth on R4’s Today program discussing the National Write a Novel in a Month, which involves submitting a 50,000 word novel before midnight (local time) n the 30th November. So there and then, I decided to take the plunge and make a start on Crooked Usage, an idea I have been kicking around for over a decade. It may not make a great novel, but it will no longer be an unwritten novel. Even if it’s no better than a first draft, at least it will be a first draft, and it’s easier to turn 50,000 words into something than it is to turn 0 words into something. As of 19th November, I have managed 38747 words, and am confident I will make the 50,000 total.

Crooked Usage is set in an unregarded corner of North London at the end of January 1947. The unexpected winter isolates people in their homes, bringing power cuts and a breakdown of infrastructure. As the inhabitants of 12 Crooked Usage (it is a real street, honest!) fall back on their own resources, an ancient secret – long unsuspected – is forced out of hiding in order to survive…

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