Writing Update – 17/6/13

The women of Whitechapel arming themselves against the Ripper. Nice work ladies. Photo: The Museum of London.

Yes, it’s that time of the week when I ramble on about how the Ripper Book is doing. Seriously everyone, this weekly update is probably the only thing keeping me on the straight and narrow when it comes to writing this book. This and the prospect of a celebratory weekend on the lash in Spitalfields once it’s done and dusted.

Ripper Book Progress, week ending 16th June 2013:

Current word count – 53,630/90,000.
Body count – 4/8.
Most overused word – ‘Whitechapel’.
Favourite line this week – ‘You look like you could really do with a drink,’ he said.
Title – From Whitechapel.
Cover – currently either sepia lesbians or a pouty girl in a feisty hat.
Incidences of The F Bomb – still just three in the entire book.
Music on repeat while writing: Mesh – Flawless.
Snogs – none, but I had to hastily distract my characters from one that seemed prematurely imminent.
Drunken characters – two.
Alcohol consumed – too much.
Shoehorning in of my favourite pub – one.
Dreadful earth shattering revelations – 0/4.
Mention of ‘eels’ – none. MUST TRY HARDER
Victorian ambience level – STILL RIDICULOUSLY HIGH. 14/10 on the Victorian Ambience Level Detector.
Use of surnames from my Facebook friends list – twelve so far.
Current open thesaurus.com tab – ‘gory‘.
Overall feeling – A dreadful sense of impending doom.

The Princess Alice on Commercial Street, my favourite pub and the setting for the entirety of the last chapter in which two characters spent a few hours boozing it up and getting to know each other a bit better. Ahem. Photo: Melanie Clegg.

I always had it clear in my mind that this book, despite the subject matter, was going to be Young Adult as that’s something I feel very comfortable writing. However, the initial feedback from an agent I showed it to a couple of months ago was that although the book itself is great, the voice wasn’t quite right for a YA market if that’s what I want it to appeal to. I’ve therefore been working on that, mainly by changing the whole book to first person (although present tense didn’t work) and I think I’ve got it right now, although the book is necessarily perhaps rather more edgy than some people might like!

On the other hand, I am going to take heart from the fact that I am actively having to stop my characters copping off with each other, which suggests there’s a serious excess of adolescent hormones swirling around the whole shebang. This is probably a good thing seeing as I am trying to write a book about hormonal adolescents FOR hormonal adolescents. Or something.

I didn’t do as much writing last week as I would have liked due to one thing and another but am IN THE ZONE this week and feeling determined to churn out at least two thousand a words a day. The plan is still to self publish this book in December, which I am hopeful is still doable although I am not sure how I am going to fit four murders, two alleyway snogs, four BIG reveals, several references to desultory blow jobs, two scary chase scenes, one unexpected hooking up, a scandalous tattoo and a fair amount of gin drinking into the 36,370 measly words I have remaining to me. I suspect there’s going to be some SERIOUS editing when I’m done.

And on that note, I’d better get back to it. At this current moment, Clara and Emma are completely AWOL on the streets of Whitechapel and Alice is fending off an admirer at a posh dinner party so I’d better go and rescue them all…

Christ Church, Spitalfields, glooming it up over the whole book in a From Hell manner. Photo: Melanie Clegg.

ps. I’m giving a talk to the local Women’s Institute tomorrow night about self publishing, Minette and From Whitechapel. Eek!


‘Frothy, light hearted, gorgeous. The perfect summer read.’ Minette, my novel of 17th century posh doom and intrigue is now £2.02 from Amazon UK and $2.99 from Amazon US.

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One thought on “Writing Update – 17/6/13

  • janice

    let us know how your talk at the women’s institute goes. why the limit on the remaining words?

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