In the spirit of my previous post I spent some time last night talking with Karen, my editor, about realistic goals in terms of my current works in progress. If you’re dropped by here before you’ll know that I have a cyber-drawer full of material in various stages of completion, and my original overly-ambitious goal was to publish two novel-length stories by Christmas.
I’ve been at this game a little while now, and I have a better sense of what’s likely versus what I’d like. What seems realistic now is to aim to have Dark Streets ready and published before Christmas, and then do the rewrite on Shadow Paths in the New Year. Patience and persistence are the name of the game here. They’re not qualities that I possess in any great measure, but more or less anything is achievable is you keep the end in mind.
It’s back off to near future London, then, and the darkest corners of that city’s underworld. To get myself back in the mood I popped over to Bradley Garrett’s website and took a look at some of his fantastic pictures of abandoned and hidden places.
Dark Streets is set in multiple locations around London, some real, some imagined, and one of them is a disused Underground station. The picture above of Aldwych is one of many London images that Garrett has on his site and does visually what I had in mind when I wrote one of the early chapters of my story.
If you know London at all, you’ll know that Aldwych is in the heart of the city and there’s something fascinating about this underground world that used to echo to the feet of thousands of commuters now lying dormant and empty beneath the feet of those same people. What I was after for Dark Streets was the feeling of a secret place, abandoned and in disrepair, below the streets of the city. Anything could be happening down there and no-one would ever know.
Here’s another of his Underground images:
Great stuff. Ghostly and compelling. Pop over to his website and take a look at his other pictures. The nighttime shots of London, and the pictures of Battersea Power Station are among my favourites. I was also pleased to see that he’s been to my current post-apocalyptic fave city, Detroit, where he captured some great images of some really interesting abandoned buildings.
If the London that I’m putting together in Dark Streets conjures for the reader even a fraction of the atmosphere that Garrett has captured in his photos, then I’ll be very happy. To which point, now that I’ve fed my imagination I’d better give it some exercise.
I’m going underground.