Far too often people don't realize the problems young women can face.
This sad situation is one reflected in the lives of three young women I know of over the years. (There may be other women I've met over the years but haven't wanted to tell me all of their difficulties.)
The NSPCC charity has "held more than 15,000 counseling sessions about self-harm last year". These problems can be signs of deeper issues.
In writing my next novel, 'Imaginary Friends and Psychos', I have been sensitively referring to the self-harming issues of a young woman. This is not sensationalizing them but rather, coincidentally, I've been touching on this area to high light it.
Another coincidence is the interviews with the author Philip Pullman. In his online interview with the BBC he details six steps to writing his books.
For the first step he writes "Let characters show themselves". The characters almost subconsciously developed. This is exactly how my writing is. A prominent character in my new novel already features in my first novel but in a very odd way. (My first novel is 'Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child',) Her appearance is actually based upon my own (sometimes quite disturbing ) subconscious directions. My third novel is not a sequel to the first one in a conventional way. To say any more than that would, well, give the game away.
He expresses in his second step "There are always more stories". In other words the story can continue beyond one novel. And that is certainly true with my writing. My second novel 'The Devil's Sister', is written explicitly for a sequel. In actual fact there are probably several books after 'The Devil's Sister'. I've already titled it's sequel in that novel as 'Searching for Satan'. The concept of the ruler of Hell is not conventional. Let's just say, in my novel, the Devil and Satan are two different people.
In his third step Philip Pullman expresses "It's normal not to be confident - but don't listen to music". He's saying it's all about writing the rhythm of the words in your novel. He can't write with music playing nearby. He expresses other authors write in different ways this is certainly true with me. I actually act out the words I write so the rhythm of the sentences is written as I speak.
For his fourth step Philip Pullman writes that "Tone is more important than structure". This is very much to the thing I wrote in the previous section. The tone in my present novel is different from my first and second novel. It certainly more casual and conversational!
Philip Pullman writes in his fifth step to "choose a favorite pen". Well I do have a favorite pen but I type on my favorite computer!
For his sixth step he advises "write for yourself". No comment there. That's exactly what I do.
And this kind of links with the title of this blog.
You see certain influences - and the author Neil Gaiman and several other writers agree as well - will affect the ways we put together stories.
Look at these reviews of my first novel 'Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child':
These are reviews for the paperback format of my novel. And one of the reviews is titled "Next Dr. Who script writer?" Well, Doctor Who has affected many people in many ways (including Neil Gaiman) and it makes me wonder how does that series affect the ways an author can write.
That series has certainly reflected events going on in reality. Most of the time it was indirect.
There were topical stories talking about the dangers from brainwashing and pollution (look at the Jon Pertwee story called 'The Green Death'). There were less than subtle references to political issues (look at the Sylvester McCoy story called 'The Happiness Patrol').
The recent Doctor Who writing has subtly reflected topical issues, most successfully pro-female (feminist) issues. This course leads me to the next Doctor in Doctor Who. That is a very good step in helping young women see successful women as role models. It may help to develop self-esteem.
Has this influenced me? Well, I'm feminist anyway (yes, heterosexual guys can be feminist) and my first novel has a strong woman the main character searching for her lost baby boy. My second novel has both male and female characters in it and my present novel has a male central character. Has Doctor Who affected it? I don't know. I'll leave it to you to decide when it's published.