Three rooms of one’s own

I do love a glimpse into a writer’s life: their creative space, their haven. I get a strong sense of history and connection that’s hard to articulate. Max Gate is a house in Dorchester, designed and lived in by Thomas Hardy. It was there that he wrote some of his most famous novels, including Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, as well as much of his poetry.

Two things that impressed me:

1. The house evolved over time to have three studies.

2. In the third study, the window was designed such that Hardy would have an uninterrupted view from his desk. Clever.

 

More Hardy to come in future, when I post about his birthplace nearby.

Fine-tuning

I’m editing my novel, making slow progress but that’s just a scheduling issue. While I wade through my pages, pencil and eraser in hand, I’m also dipping in and out of a very useful book that was recommended to me:

At first I was daunted by the prospect of taming my novel, but then I had a chat with another writer (at the school gates). She said it was her favourite part of the process and I’m starting to understand what she meant. There’s something very liberating about cutting large chunks of prose that have no business being there, changing words around and having absolute clarity on how a scene should read. As my novelist friend said, “It’s time to trust the inner critic.” What a great way of putting it.